Starting on Friday, October 13th (weather permitting), Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be performing UV/IR patrols on the 500kV and 230kV, and will also be performing Routine Patrols/Inspections on the 115kV lines in JCP&L. Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be patrolling JCP&L territory full time until the inspections are complete. The patrols are estimated to take 7-10 days to complete and will be carried out by the following helicopters:
- N90TJ – Black & Silver, Hughes MD500
- N748CB – All-black Hughes MD500
A routine patrol/inspection is a general, overall look at the transmission line and associated hardware. The helicopter will be traveling at speeds of 25-30mph and may at times hover over top of structures and/or spans of conductor to get a better look at any problems/issues found during patrols.
An infrared (UV/IR) patrol is similar to a routine patrol in terms of speed (20-30mph) but special equipment mounted on the bottom of the aircraft is used to get a detailed look at the conductor, insulators, shield wire, and their associated hardware through the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum.
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 to both Transmission Lines Maintenance and the FCC, and the pilot will be in communication with any local airports when in their airspace.