OPPD is taking to the skies to help ensure reliability for its customer-owners. The district’s latest round of annual aerial inspections of transmission lines began today and will last three days, with the schedule subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Flight inspections are conducted via helicopter in the fall, to check the condition of much of the 1,280 miles of transmission lines that serve OPPD’s territory. Aerial surveys have proven to be the quickest and lowest-cost method to spot potential problems in the district’s transmission system. The district will be conducting this round of inspections using a contracted helicopter. OPPD has an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), which it plans to begin using for this type of inspection beginning next year.
State and local law enforcement agencies will be notified and updated of the helicopter flight path for this week’s inspections, as well as the timelines. The team took off this morning from Millard, moving northward.
This mission is considered a “fast fly,” meaning the chopper will typically be moving 25 to 35 miles per hour, occasionally hovering near power lines or equipment to get a better look. If inspectors spot issues that need quick attention, OPPD dispatchers and transmission and distribution personnel are notified so they can make arrangements for repairs.
In addition to the condition of transmission lines and structures, inspectors will check to see if there’s enough clearance around the lines, since trees, sheds and other objects placed too close to the lines can cause service disruptions.