Tuesday Tip: Avoiding power lines on landing

This tip is from Dennis Pagen’s classic book, Performance Flying

Paraglider in power lines

Hung up in Argentina in 2009. Photo: www.m24digital.com

Too many pilots have had power line tangles.

Examples include:

  • 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:

  1. Expect power lines along every road and leading to every building
  2. Look for power lines anytime you see a cut in the trees or even the suggestion of a trace
  3. Look for tell-tale shadows of power line poles
  4. View the field from different angles to detect power line poles
  5. Follow a logical route from any pole you see to trace the power line route
  6. Be aware that small, more invisible lines are often placed above or below larger lines.

Tuesday Tips are sent directly to our readers’ mailboxes every week. If you want to receive them sign up to our newsletter in the sidebar.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Travel Guide: Suggestions

Guide to Bright, Australia

Guide to Bright, Australia

Banish the northern winter blues and give your year the perfect kickstart at one of Australia's best and most accessible flying sites Read >>

Guide to Quixada, Brazil

Guide to Quixada, Brazil

If you can cope with the gusty launch, you can go a long, long way Read >>

Guide to La Palma, Canary Islands

Guide to La Palma, Canary Islands

The uncrowded paradise of La Palma offers year-round flying while the north shivers Read >>

Subscribe