Seattle power utility spent $35,000 to remove drone stuck in power line

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Would a kite have cost the same? A bird, tree or squirrel? Perhaps the intentionality (even if unintentional, the person did mean to fly the drone) is the reason it costs so much.

Also, bullshit on the costs. Feel free to allocate whatever costs you want to scare people but the truck is paid for, the salaries are already going to happen whether it is for drone removal or other electrical work, the police are already paid for, whether for watching drone removal or policing. I suppose they had to rent the truck, but still, I want to get into the electrical truck renting business then. It’s just a scare tactic.


It’s remarkable that you think it is other people allocating costs however they want to.

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Dear jacknuts flying things near power lines:

Don’t screw this up for the rest of us.

Responsible persons


Given that right now (a) the FAA basically prohibits urban drone use entirely and (b) not very many people have them, and you look at how often stuff like this still manages to happen, I don’t know this is so much “screwing things up for the rest of us” as “providing a demonstration of what a total shit-show the situation will be when neither of those things is true.”


I’m lumping kite fliers in there too. :slight_smile:

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The mechanics of kite-flying are fairly self-limiting all on their own, though. Also, does anyone even fly kites anymore? I don’t remember the last time I saw one. We could stick mylar balloons in there, though.



I’m not sure I’m buying your municipal finance credentials.

Doing things like this does cost real money. If you have to do them all the time, your municipality will have fewer monies than it expected to have at the end of the year.

For example, many cities are working out how to reduce or replace police details and road flaggers to save money. If, as you seem to think, they’d still be paying all these policemen and road flaggers the same amount to stay at home, they wouldn’t be doing this.

I buy them for my kids. They run around until tired and go to bed early.


One of the two parks in Seattle that allows for drone/model aircraft flight also has a specifically named Kite Hill and when the weather is nice you can find quite a few people with kites out having fun.

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And it’s closed!

What out at Sandpoint/Magnusun/whatever they call it these days? That sucks.

It does seem awfully high but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here: beyond the normal costs of manpower, machinery and rerouting, the lines were over water and high voltage.


[quote=“TobinL, post:10, topic:58734”]
kites out having fun.
[/quote]Or at least flying kites. Fun not guaranteed.

Nah, Gas Works - Kite Hill is closed until 4th July or thereabouts, has been for months. Reseeding, I think.

( wait - are they both called Kite Hill? And are drones allowed at Gas Works?)

Ahh. There is one at Magnuson as well and that’s where we usually go. And it appears I have read conflicting reports about model aircraft. Looks like you have to go out to Marymoor for that fun.

Couldn’t they try to shoot it down first? Perhaps use a bean bag or other nonlethal weapon that delivers energy over larger area (so no danger to the wire itself) and could give the drone corpse enough kick to break off the stuck part?

This could be done from distance, without even having to power off the line.


I worked for a fire chief who would pull tactics like this to justify the fire district taxes. When interviewed he would pull a number out of his ass universally, often a few $k/day billed in 24hr increments for fire apparatus, and then also quote the full 24hr wages(even for volunteers) for the guessed number of firefighters involved in any way with the operation, then at least generously pad if not double the guestimate to make it sound even better. Most operations would only burn a few hundred dollars of expendables, the rest is wear which falls among the much larger use in training, and regularly paid staff and volunteers. Rare was there an overtime call in. This same chief tried and succeeding in pushing for unpaid night 8hrs for firefighters on shift nights(48hrs on 96 off) with no calls, effing teamsters rolled on that one, should have been an IAFF shop.


Knocking a drone out of a power line with a fiberglass rod: $35,000.

m’kay… Maybe you shouldn’t pay your linemen breaks out calculator $420,000 per hour?

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How much do linemen make? I fucking hate heights, but I think I could work in the bucket.