Every year contact with overhead power lines causes electric shocks, severe and debilitating burn injuries and, in some instances, death. Nearly 40% of recent ballooning incidents involved contact with overhead power lines.
Balloon envelopes, wires, ropes, fuel cylinders, hoses and baskets can conduct electricity. Many other materials will allow electricity to flow along them when they are wet. At higher voltages electricity may jump short distances through the air.
Top 5 tips on ballooning safety
1. Check there are no overhead power lines in the area you intend to take off from.
2. Ensure you have a pair of binoculars to spot overhead power lines when in flight.
3. Do not deliberately fly near overhead power lines.
4. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) maps may show major transmission tower lines, often known as pylons, but don’t show other overhead power lines (notably those on wood poles).
5. When landing and you have spotted an overhead power line, don’t concentrate on it exclusively, there may be others...
- Energy Network's Association 'Safety Information for Balloonists'
- CAA Safety Sense Leaflet 'Balloon Airmanship'