Helicopters to inspect power lines next week

September 8, 2023

Helicopters to inspect power lines next week

MASON COUNTY — ITC will inspect high-voltage transmission structures, lines and equipment throughout the state via helicopter from approximately Sept. 11 through Oct. 11 — weather permitting, according to a press release. “The helicopters will be flying lower than usual near the transmission lines during these inspections, which is no cause for concern for area residents.”

The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system that is operated by ITC’s Michigan operating entities, ITC Transmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC). The aerial inspections will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula.

Mason County is included in an area tentatively scheduled for inspections Sept. 11-14. Oceana County is included in a region that is tentatively slated for inspections Sept. 18-20.

“These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program; support proactive maintenance objectives; and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of all transmission structures and equipment including, but not limited to monopoles, steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards. The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines.”

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