The Journal Gazette
Friday, December 13, 2019 1:45 pm

Verbatim: I&M to conduct aerial inspections next week

The Journal Gazette

Indiana Michigan Power issued this news release today:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Indiana Michigan Power will conduct aerial inspections of its high-voltage lines using both a helicopter and a drone at separate locations.

Inspections using the helicopter will begin Monday, Dec. 16, and will continue for approximately one week. The drone is scheduled to fly only on Dec. 16. Weather delays could alter flight schedules. These inspections help I&M to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the area's transmission system.

The helicopters will be used to inspect transmission lines in Northeast Indiana, including the Fort Wayne area, and in East Central Indiana. The lines being inspected are in the following counties:

  • Adams
  • Allen
  • Jay
  • Noble
  • Steuben
  • Whitley

I&M's contractor will conduct the inspections from helicopters. The aircraft will fly about 50-100 feet above the lines at a speed of 40-45 mph, covering about 350 miles each day. During inspections, helicopters may need to circle a single structure or area several times to check the condition of electrical equipment.

The drone will be used in Fort Wayne only. A licensed operator pilots the drone, assisted by a camera operator/inspector on the ground. Inspection teams follow FAA rules that require the pilot to maintain line of sight to the drone at all times. The inspection team will travel along the rights-of-way to access the transmission lines. The aerial drone will follow transmission lines for extended periods of time to capture high-resolution images of I&M equipment for assessment of structures and line conditions.

Customers with questions or concerns about aerial inspections should contact I&M at 800-311-4634.

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