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Surviving the Wires Environment

Plane in wires

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced the release of a 25-minute online aviation wire-strike safety awareness video, “Surviving the Wires Environment.” It’s aimed squarely at the helicopter community but would be very helpful for all pilots.

There are over 60 collisions with manmade obstacles every year, or about one every five days, in the United States. The true number is much higher, as utility companies report many more suspicious wire breaks than those appearing in aviation accident reports. In about 40 percent of the accidents, the pilot knew the power lines were present in the area. Ultralight and light plane pilots are vulnerable because we spend more time near the surface. If you’ve been in the sport long enough, you’ll know someone who has hit wires. Experts say experience is no protection and that distractions play a large role.

The threat will only increase as we’re entering a period of increased construction of transmission lines and towers. Watch the video on the HAI website and check EAA Sport Aviation magazine for more coverage. Few wire-strike victims will be as lucky as the couple in this video.

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