Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

A Helicopter Team Installs Power Line Marker Balls

What are those colorful balls hanging on power lines? You might see them over a freeway, in the mountains, near airports, or across canyons, valleys, and rivers. These power line markers or visibility marker balls are there so that pilots in low-flying aircraft like helicopters and airplanes can spot and avoid collisions with those hard-to-see power lines.

In this sponsored T&D How video, a team installs different brightly colored power line markers on wires to demonstrate the variety of secure attachment equipment, from T&R Tech’s SpanGuard markers, to FastBall markers, to SpanLight self-illuminated markers that can be seen during both day and night.

installing a yellow power line marker
And as Tina Roth Eisenberg notes in her post, “I will never look at those Power Line Marker Balls the same way again.” Via MentalFloss:

“According to a 1983 article from United Press International, the marker balls first gained popularity in the early 1970s, when Arkansas’s then-governor Winthrop Rockefeller noticed electric wires whiz by as his aircraft started to land and decided something should be done to make them more obvious to pilots. The article also notes that the benefits go beyond aviation—the markers also help geese and boats steer clear of inconspicuous cables.”

helicopter installation of a power line marker
installing a self-illuminating marker

Watch this next: Changing a light bulb at the top of a 1500 foot TV tower.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

A helicopter bicycle prototype test flight in Prague

Rion Nakaya

The Mars Helicopter, NASA’s small autonomous rotorcraft demonstration

Rion Nakaya

Model helicopter guided by power of thought

Rion Nakaya

Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter – AHS Sikorsky Prize Flight

Rion Nakaya

Flight Assembled Architecture

Rion Nakaya

A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors

Rion Nakaya

Flying The Swarm – An aerial multirotor “super drone” vehicle

Rion Nakaya

Human-Powered Helicopters: Straight Up Difficult

Rion Nakaya

Bob Burnquist: Defying gravity with a skateboard

Rion Nakaya