If you spot slow moving or hovering helicopters across the region starting next week, there’s an excellent chance they are under contract with Indiana Michigan Power for aerial inspections of high-voltage power lines.
Indiana Michigan Power tells us they will conduct those low-flying aerial inspections of many high-voltage lines utilizing a helicopter beginning on Monday, August 3rd. The inspections help the utility to maintain the reliability of the electric transmission system.
Those flights are scheduled to inspect transmission lines in I&M’s Indiana service territory, which includes Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana; South Bend and North Central Indiana; Muncie and East Central Indiana; and here across Southwest Michigan. The approximate dates for inspections by area are:
- Southwest Michigan: August 3rd-to-15th
- South Bend, North Central Indiana: August 3rd-to-15th
- Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana: August 15th-to-22nd
- Muncie and East Central Indiana: August 22nd-to-September 5th
I&M’s contractor will conduct the inspections from a red-and-white helicopter with the tail number N-88LH. The aircraft will fly about 50-100 feet above the lines at a speed of 40-45 mph, covering about 350 miles each day of the process. During inspections, the helicopter may need to circle a single structure or area several times to check the condition of electrical equipment. Flights are scheduled to occur from 8 am to 5 pm, and weather delays could alter the flight schedules. Customers with questions or concerns about aerial inspections should contact I&M directly at 800-311-4634.