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Shropshire drone users warned to watch for power lines

By Mat Growcott | News | Published:

Drone users are being urged to ‘keep it in sight every flight’ to reduce the risk of accidents involving overhead power lines.

Last year, Western Power Distribution engineers responded to more than 370 incidents where members of the public had come into contact with overhead lines while involved in various outdoor pursuits.

Now safety experts at the company are teaming up with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to warn drone users about the risks of flying near overhead power lines and electricity substations.

Eddie Cochrane, safety adviser for Western Power Distribution, said: “We have thousands of pylons and poles which carry high voltage electricity along overhead power lines and, if a drone gets too close to, or makes contact with our equipment, the consequences can be fatal.

”We are also aware of at least one incident where a person was killed while out walking when a damaged live conductor from a drone fell to the ground.”

Important safety tips for drone pilots include always keeping it in sight, to stay below 400ft and to avoid airports and other aircraft.

Look out for substations and overhead power lines. Try to stay more than 50 metres from these, as well as from people and properties.

Read and follow the drone manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the safety of your drone and people around you.

If you drone does come into contact with power lines or enters a substation, do not attempt to retrieve it.

Visit dronesafe.uk/drone-code for more information on drone safety.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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