What are those white and colored balls on NJ power lines?
Have you ever cast your eyes to the skies and noticed those conspicuous, oversized orbs hanging from power lines? They come in various shades — yellow, orange, white, or red.
These aren't just random decorations; they serve as vital visibility markers.
Weighing in at approximately 17 pounds each, these markers are strategically placed in specific locations. You'll find them near mountain passes, in valleys, at major freeway crossings, and surrounding airports.
So, what's their purpose?
These oversized spheres play a pivotal role in aviation safety. When aircraft pilots navigate through the skies, the conductors and skyline wires below can blend seamlessly into the natural terrain.
This optical illusion makes them nearly invisible to the unaided eye, especially when flying at low altitudes.
Helicopters and small planes, in particular, often traverse mountain passes or glide above freeways as they approach airports. It's in these critical moments that visibility markers become a beacon of safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration mandates the use of spherical visibility markers, usually in aviation-friendly shades of orange, white, or yellow, especially in proximity to airports.
So they may look cute but these aren't cute at all; they're actually vital tools in maintaining safety in the skies, ensuring that power lines don't become an unseen hazard for pilots and passengers alike.
Now as far as pairs of tied sneakers hanging over those wires? As far as I know, they serve no such critical purpose. I don’t think we’ll ever get to the bottom of that mystery.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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