Helicopter Patrol

The other day I heard a very loud noise outside and noticed a helicopter flying very low.

DSC_6859Two possibilities quickly went through my mind:

  1. They were in trouble.
  2. They were looking for someone? We live close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and at times low-flying helicopters are in our area looking for someone who is running away from police.


But when it appeared that they were hovering over electric lines, I zoomed in and affirmed that they were with PPL (a local electric provider) and were probably examining electric lines.

DSC_6860I checked online and read this:

Routine helicopter patrols of all transmission lines are conducted every year, as well as more comprehensive aerial inspection on a four-year cycle.

DSC_6857From helicopter patrols, they use laser beams to measure the distances between transmission power lines and any obstructions, like trees. It’s called LIDAR technology.

PPL maintains 35,000 miles of overhead distribution lines across its system.