Helicopters to patrol Illuminating Company transmission lines throughout Northeast Ohio

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - If you see a blue helicopter flying close to transmission lines in Northeast Ohio, don’t be alarmed - it’s conducting routine patrols for the Illuminating Company.

These patrols will be conducted on or around Sept. 23, weather permitting, and are anticipated to take three weeks to complete.

The Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be mobilized to the Illuminating Company region to begin routine transmission line patrols for the fall season on all Illuminating Company transmission lines, 138kV-345kV.

Here is what these helicopters look like:

Helicopters to patrol Illuminating Company transmission lines throughout Northeast Ohio
Helicopters to patrol Illuminating Company transmission lines throughout Northeast Ohio(Illuminating Company)

The City of Chardon provided the following description of these patrols:

“A routine visual patrol is a general inspection of the structures, conductors, and all associated hardware on the transmission line(s) where the onboard inspector is looking for any outstanding issues or immediate threats to the reliability of the transmission line(s). The helicopter may also be seen hovering and/or circling to get a closer look at any problems that may be found during these patrols.

It should be noted that the contractor has been authorized to patrol the transmission circuits in their entirety (i.e. “breaker-to-breaker”), so patrols on certain lines may therefore extend into the neighboring regions. The flight crew provides information on their daily location to both Transmission Lines Maintenance, FE West Transmission Operations, and also any local airports when in their airspace. Please advise public entities or sensitive customers as needed.”