# Helicopter Lineman Question (Video)

#### jegues

Joined Sep 13, 2010
733
Here's a link to the video,

Can someone give me a detailed explanation how they are not being electrocuted?

It seems as though they initially touch a pole to the line, then proceed to sit on it.

While they are sitting on it, it looks as though the pole is no longer touching the line.

After when they are both safely on the line they touch the same pole to the helicopter as it slowly flys away.

Does this pole have to be in contact with either the line or the helicopter at all times?

Again, I'd like a detailed explanation of what's going on with all that voltage at each stage of the interaction. (i.e. approaching the line, on the line, the helicopter leaving)

Thanks again!

#### jegues

Joined Sep 13, 2010
733
Okay so maybe someone can verify my understanding, and clear a few things up.

The wand is initially placed on the line so that the helicopter and its occupants are at the same voltage as the line itself, correct?

If so, the linemen begin to climb onto the line and hook up there safety harnesses. Why is there no current flowing through them?

Now the linemen are safely in place and the helicopter begins to fly away, what explains the final arc from the rod to the helicopter as it flies away?

Thanks again!

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,906
Where is the circuit? This isn't lightning, and electricity flows in a circuit.

Looking at the video I would assume all three lines are at the same potential.

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#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,502
Okay so maybe someone can verify my understanding, and clear a few things up.

The wand is initially placed on the line so that the helicopter and its occupants are at the same voltage as the line itself, correct?

If so, the linemen begin to climb onto the line and hook up there safety harnesses. Why is there no current flowing through them?

Now the linemen are safely in place and the helicopter begins to fly away, what explains the final arc from the rod to the helicopter as it flies away?

Thanks again!
The helicopter is still in the air electrical breakdown region of space around the wire as it moves away. A conductive plasma of air (arc) connects it to the wire until the resistance of air and instability in the plasma causes it to breakdown.