Power Line Inspection

We heard God’s Own Weedwhacker off to the right as we approached Jackson Drive on the way home:

Chopper over power lines - Vassar Rd near Jackson Dr - 2018-06-11

Chopper over power lines – Vassar Rd near Jackson Dr – 2018-06-11

The chopper followed the power lines, just over the treetops, with the downdraft thrashing the leaves:

Chopper over power lines - Vassar Rd near Jackson Dr - rear camera - 2018-06-11

Chopper over power lines – Vassar Rd near Jackson Dr – rear camera – 2018-06-11

Long ago, I attended a talk about using choppers for power line inspection and maintenance. Apparently, someone with nerves of ice can replace insulator supports and aeolian dampers on high-tension lines while perched on a chopper hovering very very close to the conductors. Pilots with experience getting troops into and out of hot LZs are in high demand.

I’m sure they give the E911 call center a heads-up before taking off …

  1. #1 by Olli on 2018-06-23 - 12:18

    Electromagnetic hypersensitivity or what?

    “In December, the Ulster County Legislature adopted a resolution urging the state Legislature to prohibit electric utilities from forcing consumers to use the new meters after hearing from dozens of residents who said they suffered significant health problems after the new meters were placed on their homes.”

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-06-23 - 20:48

      Surely, they called the complaints in from their mobile phones …

      • #3 by Olli on 2018-06-24 - 10:34

        A smart meter is handy. I can see the electrical energy consumption of the house (down to 1 hour resolution) on the utility’s website. 2018 consumption peaked on 02.21.2018 (109,12 kWh, peaking at 10 a.m. 7,32kWh), lowest 05.15.2018 (24,08 kWh). The annual electricity consumption of the house is about 22 000 kWh. Is this control-freakism?

        • #4 by Ed on 2018-06-25 - 07:51

          If you have to ask, you know the answer!

          • #5 by Olli on 2018-06-25 - 08:47

            Thank You for the confirmation.

  2. #6 by Mike on 2018-06-23 - 12:38

    More info – including the installation of a flux capacitor:

    • #7 by Ed on 2018-06-23 - 20:48

      Sounds much better than “transformer with a single-turn primary”, doesn’t it?

  3. #8 by Andy on 2018-06-24 - 02:20

    Nerves of ice? How about the guys (and presumably gals) that dress in insulated suits and attach themselves to 500kV lines to do maintenance. One mistake and they can literally turn to carbon. No need to advise E911 ahead of time. Too late if there’s a problem. But vanishingly low number of incidents due to level of attention to safety. On ‘tuther hand, cases of helicopters doing line inspections getting into trouble are more frequent, and invariably result in poor outcomes

    • #9 by Ed on 2018-06-25 - 07:49

      Just another day at the office!

      I figured they’d notify the E911 folks before triggering a zillion calls about crashing / terrorist helicopters. Maybe we’re less hair-trigger these days, what with all the low level choppers on other missions?

  4. #10 by eriklscott on 2018-06-24 - 21:35

    At least one pipeline company flies some part of the pipeline every VFR day… probably all of them.

    • #11 by Ed on 2018-06-25 - 07:54

      Anybody want to estimate how many startups have plans to “disrupt the market” with autonomous drone pipeline reconnaissance? Sheesh.