Power Lines and Airplane, Helicopter and Hot Air Balloon Accidents

RETA has provided information on the many negative impacts of overhead power lines on health, safety, pipelines, property values, the environment, birds, aesthetics, livestock, crops and tourism (also see our Fact Sheets on these topics). With respect to safety, RETA researchers have recently completed a paper on “Airplane, Helicopter and Hot Air Balloon Accidents Due to Overhead Power Lines” (see paper at this link).

The paper lists 137 incidents where power lines caused, or were major factors in, aircraft accidents that resulted in 1,093 deaths, 268 injuries and hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft and other on-the-ground damages. This is but a small sample of the total number of aircraft accidents caused by power lines. We have tried to represent the variety of types of aircraft accidents involving power lines, and there are literally hundreds of similar incidents not included in our paper. Many incidents go unreported, particularly in some parts of the world where accident reporting is less rigorous than in Canada and the U.S.A. The fact that many legal firms have websites such as this one dedicated to providing assistance where there has been personal injury resulting from aircraft accidents due to power lines, attests to the high number of accidents of this type.

Our paper reveals that large commercial passenger and cargo planes, smaller business and pleasure fixed-wing aircraft, commercial and private helicopters, recreational ultra-light airplanes, and hot air balloons have all been involved in accidents caused by power lines.

These and hundreds of similar accidents could have been prevented, or impacts could have been reduced, if power lines were buried.

~ by RETA on November 20, 2012.

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