Helicopter inspections detect problems before outages occur

Helicopter-line-inspections-1National Grid started its semi-annual aerial inspections of more than 2,900 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont this week.

The helicopter flyovers will identify and address potential problems in the transmission lines before they impact electric service for customers.  These aerial inspections complement the regularly-conducted, ground-level inspections by quickly and efficiently covering our transmission system, even across rugged and isolated terrain.

The helicopter inspections are conducted by experienced trained personnel using high-powered gyroscopic binoculars. Transmission lines can be damaged during the winter months by severe weather.

The inspections look for the following:

  • Signs of wear on power line conductors and lightning protection devices
  • Damaged or leaning transmission structures
  • Loose or broken guy wires
  • Broken, chipped or cracked insulator equipment
  • Leaning trees that are falling toward the lines or into the transmission corridors

“At National Grid, we believe taking a proactive approach to reducing outages and accelerating outage restorations is in the best interest of our customers. Proper and regular inspections of our transmission system is a critical component in providing safe and reliable electric power to our more than 1.7 million electricity customers across New England,” said David Way, Vice President, Project Management and Complex Construction, National Grid.

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