In approximately three to five days, weather permitting, Chesapeake Bay Helicopters (CBH) will be mobilizing to the Met-Ed region and will begin performing UV/IR patrols on all Met-Ed 230kV transmission lines. The helicopter to be used for these patrols will be a black and silver, Hughes MD500 with tail registration number N774CB – photo attached. These patrols are estimated to take three to four days to complete, but again, any inclement weather or storm/outage-related patrols on other lines may prolong completion.
A UV/IR patrol is like a routine patrol in terms of patrol speed (25-35 mph) but utilizes an ultraviolet/infrared and corona camera that’s mounted on the bottom of the helicopter. The onboard thermographer uses these cameras to view the transmission facilities through the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums to identify any sources of corona activity or overheated components that require proactive repair/replacement. The helicopter may be seen hovering while carrying out these inspections.
It should be noted that the contractor has been authorized to patrol the transmission circuits in their entirety (i.e. “breaker-to-breaker”), so patrols on certain lines may therefore extend into the neighboring regions. The flight crew provides information on their daily location any local airports when in their airspace.
For the safety of all involved, please allow these crews significant distance to conduct their work safely. Thank you for your time and consideration.