Power lines present one of the greatest risks in ballooning. Lines are often in areas where landings might happen, and are very hard to see. Having the crew in front of the balloon seeking landing sites and watching for lines significantly reduces this risk.
Crew can help their pilot identify power lines at landing sites. Crew can communicate line positions to the pilot, for example: "Crew to balloon. Power lines along west of road. House feed north of house. Clear south of barn"
Parking near or under the power lines (along with communication) provides a visual to the pilot.
In the event of a line strike:
- Assume all lines are charged at all times
- Keep everyone outside the basket 100 feet away from any part of the balloon
- Stay well away from downed lines (100 feet)
- Tell passengers to stand still in the center of the basket and not touch anything
- Do not touch anything in contact with the line (fences, fabric, ropes)
- Call 9-1-1. Check for nearby pole ID markers
- Don't turn one disaster into two, stay away from the lines