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Marker Balls

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A word of caution to pilots - BC Hydro is now removing marker balls at various span crossings in the province that have been there for years. Some locations have had much smaller marker balls installed which are only visible from about 1 mile or less from the line in ideal weather conditions. Others have had the marker balls removed completely. The explanation given was that Transport Canada doesn't really give a $#it and unless directed by TC to have marker balls installed at specific locations, BCH will not bother (or be obligated) to maintain span marking in high traffic areas. Safety First!

BC Hydro Aircraft Operations - (604) 469-8848.

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I have been quite involved with hydro in the past.

Marker balls do burn off or are otherwise destroyed but I am surprised to hear that they are removing them.

I was once told, by someone in the know, that hydro had settled out of court, every lawsuit that they had had involving aircraft and wires, because it was simply not worth it to take to court.

There is a crossing over the Fraser River in the lower mainland that has orange and white towers, marker balls, and strobe lights, and when a float plane hit them, they sued and it was settled.

It may not make you feel better, or do anything for safety, but it does put a bit of a different light on the subject.

I don't know if Garmin gets sued if they miss a tower and someone hits it, but I wouldn't be surprised.


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All marker balls now removed from HWY 97 500kV line by Falkland, BC. Not to worry though....this is the major VFR route between two of the smaller hamlets in BC, Kamloops and Kelowna. Weather never gets bad in the sunny Okanagan! Special thanks to Transport Canada and BC Hydro for looking out for our safety.

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