Articles filed under Safety from California
The family of a pilot killed in a 2011 plane crash on a Delta island is suing those responsible for building the meteorological tower his airplane struck, saying it was purposely built to avoid federal regulations for making such structures more visible.
Two lightning-sparked fires are burning on Hatchet Mountain near the mountain's namesake wind turbines, fire officials said.
The fire is burning in the middle of three wind parks, said Jim Wilkins, a spokesman for the incident team. It threatened hundreds of wind turbines, damaged at least three and forced others offline.
At least three wind turbines have been lost to a wildfire that has been burning since late last week in the Jawbone Canyon Recreation Area near Tehachapi, and additional turbines might be threatened. The turbines belonged to NextEra Energy Resources.
Legislation setting stricter standards for marking meteorological towers after a fatal plane crash on a Delta island last year awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature. The bill, approved by the state Assembly on Thursday, requires that all such towers 50 feet and taller be clearly marked.
Asked directly whether the generator that caused the fire was an actual wind turbine, Captain Ewing confirmed, "Yes ma'am." He also confirmed that ground had been cleared around the base of each turbine, the blaze swiftly spread to become a wildland fire despite those precautions. Captain Ewing did not know the precise cause of the turbine malfunction.
A large wind turbine burst into flame late Friday night in the mountains above Mojave, causing a small grassfire. The fire took place near the intersection of Oak Creek and Tehachapi Willow Springs roads.
By 9:33 p.m., a caller advised the California Highway Patrol authorities that “the ridge is now on fire” near Haugen-Lehmann Way and eastbound Interstate 10. ...Eight homes were evacuated, Gaines said.
Using a laser pointer, a Navy official outlined on a map a vast area where the military wants to limit commercial wind development. The pointer swept across the Mojave Desert, skirting around Las Vegas, and edging near San Bernardino County's High Desert communities and touching the southern Sierra Nevada range.
These cases remain open, according to a spokesperson for the Tehachapi substation of the Kern County Sheriff's Department. The extent of the problem may also be understated because the incidents fall under the jurisdiction of at least three separate substations in Tehachapi, Mojave and Rosamond.
Building and maintaining solar and wind power projects can be hazardous, and industry watchdogs worry that the push for more green energy places more workers and bystanders in harm's way.
Stephen Allen, 58, was killed Jan. 10 when his airplane struck an unmarked, 198-foot-tall meteorological tower while he was seeding a field on Webb Tract Island. He likely never saw the steel tower, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
"Competitive advantage is not worth someone's life," said Yamada. "If the MET [tower] were just two feet taller, the FAA would have required orange and white stripes and lighting, and Stephen Allen would still be with us today."
A crop duster pilot killed last week may not have seen the weather tower that his plane clipped, causing him to crash on a remote island in the Delta, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board. ...He appears to have struck a 200-foot meteorological tower.
Fire crews contained a fire Thursday afternoon after it burned more than two acres of timber adjacent to woods blackened by wildfire last week.
The Department of Defense says six large-scale wind farms proposed in the Mojave Desert near Barstow would interfere with military operations and should not be built. The military opposition prompted Houston, Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy last week to withdraw applications for three of the wind farms, said Greg Miller, the renewable energy program manager for the Bureau of Land Management's Desert District. The bureau is handling the applications because the wind farms would be on public land.
A wind-farm worker who was electrocuted around noon Monday was airlifted to safety from the Campo Indian Reservation, authorities said. Two other men were hurt. One was taken to a hospital by ambulance, and the other sought help on his own.
How safe would giant wind turbines, power stations, high voltage lines, and a dump proposed for East County be during a powerful earthquake? Consumer advocates and area residents are raising those questions-and the answers in some cases are unsettling.
At a January 28 public scoping meeting, Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale asked the California Public Utilities Commission and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct a formal public health and safety investigation. All 75 blades from all 25 turbines were removed and only some of the FAA required lights are working," Tisdale wrote. "There is speculation that the high winds flowing across the composite blades created an electrostatic discharge that then arced between turbines damaging the blades and the electrical system."
Workers are inspecting and repairing 75 wind turbine blades at a wind farm some 60 miles east of San Diego after a storm a month ago caused catastrophic damage to some of them. ..."The turbines were actually stopped," he said. "There were extremely high winds on the site - that contributed to the blade cracking."