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PUD News

Helicopter flights over upper valley power lines planned

by Kimberlee Craig | Oct 01, 2018
High-tech aerial surveys are vital to keep electric service reliable

Chelan PUD customers will see a helicopter flying along PUD transmission and distribution lines for several days during the month of October. Flights will cover transmission and distribution lines in the Leavenworth area from Anderson Canyon to Coles Corner, Plain and Lake Wenatchee. 

Crew on the flights will take pictures and gather high-tech survey information to help PUD engineers maintain reliable electric service in the county.

Jim Caldwell, senior transmission system engineer, said the information gathered during the flights is used for modeling and vegetation analysis of the PUD’s transmission and distribution systems that are vital tools for making sure the power lines continue to provide reliable service for PUD customer-owners.

Caldwell said it could take several flights over a few weeks to complete the data collection. The helicopter will fly low along the power lines, taking aerial photos and collecting data using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology and other sensors.

The flights are set for business hours starting in early October as long as fair weather continues.

Chelan PUD is alerting residents near the lines about the flights, as well as government officials and law enforcement.