This tip is from Dennis Pagen’s classic book, Performance Flying
Too many pilots have had power line tangles.
- An expert pilot in the USA who was electrocuted when his glider blew up onto a wire
- A pilot who survived the pyrotechnics of a power line landing only to drop two storeys onto a raging brush fire ignited by his sparks
- And a pilot who was focused on making goal at dusk and hit a high tension line carrying enough power to light Las Vegas. His light bulb imitation flashed the whole valley. He cut himself free with a hook knife and landed in a molten pile of glider pieces. He staggered away alive but it went down as a bad day.
The problem with power lines is they are difficult to see. Because of this, adopt a general outlook:
- Expect power lines along every road and leading to every building
- Look for power lines anytime you see a cut in the trees or even the suggestion of a trace
- Look for tell-tale shadows of power line poles
- View the field from different angles to detect power line poles
- Follow a logical route from any pole you see to trace the power line route
- Be aware that small, more invisible lines are often placed above or below larger lines.
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