New danger warning for drone users across Lincolnshire

Drone users are being warned to stay away from overhead power lines and substations.
Drone users are being warned to stay away from overhead power lines and substations.

Drone users across Lincolnshire are being warned about the potentially fatal risks of flying near overhead power lines and substations.

Safety experts at Western Power Distribution (WPD) have teamed up with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to urge drone operators to ‘keep it in sight every flight’.

WPD is the country’s largest electricity distribution network operator covering Lincolnshire as well as the rest of the Midlands, the South West and South Wales.

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

Eddie Cochrane, WPD safety adviser, 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.”

WPD and CAA have prepared some important safety tips for flying drones:

* Always keep your drone in sight so that you can see and avoid things while flying.

* Stay below 400ft (120m) to comply with the dronecode. Stay well away from airports and other aircraft.

* Look out for electricity substations and overhead power lines. Make sure you always fly more than 50m from these, people and properties.

* Follow the drone manufacturer’s instructions to ensure its safety.

* If a drone enters a substation or comes into contact with power lines, do not attempt to retrieve it. Call WPD immediately on 105.

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