NOVI – If you see a helicopter flying low over high-voltage transmission towers and lines next week, don’t worry., It will be ITC conducting its semi-annual aerial inspections in southeast Michigan – Oct. 14-18, weather permitting.
The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system that is operated by ITC’s Michigan operating entities, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.
The aerial inspections will cover the southeast part of the state, including all or parts of Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.
These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.
The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines. The flights began in northern Michigan earlier this month and will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula, concluding in southeast Michigan approximately Oct. 18.