Powerful toy drones and model helicopters could cause power cuts, according to the company that operates the electricity network in the North of Scotland.
As sales of these toys have increased in recent months in the run-up to Christmas, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution is concerned that if not used properly, they could cause problems for its electricity network.
SHEPD is urging newbie pilots to steer a course away from its substations and overhead lines. In fact, according to the Civil Aviation Authority drones should not be flown within 150 metres of a built up area.
Rodney Grubb, the company’s Head of Operations, explains: “The model planes and drones that are on the market nowadays are really powerful and can fly really fast and high. If one of them strikes a power line or crashes into a substation, it can potentially damage an important piece of equipment and cause a power cut, or even serious injury to the pilot. If you’ve been given a drone or a model helicopter for Christmas, we want you to enjoy it in a safe environment where there is no risk of hitting power lines or substations.”
If a model aircraft or drone does fall into a substation, SHEPD is urging people not to go in after it – no matter how expensive it is. There is a very real risk of a potentially fatal electric shock. The electricity network operator wants people to contact its Emergency Service Centre instead which is open 24hours a day.