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PATROL, INSPECT, REPORT AND REPAIR


Air2 was among the most highly specialized helicopter companies involved in the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort, helping to repair electrical transmission systems for regional energy companies.


Pilots like David McColl fly MD 500s, the perfect helicopter for precision work near high-voltage power lines, where there’s little margin for error. “It’s a lot of power in a small package,” he said.


In this case, Air2’s initial job was to patrol, inspect, and report damaged transmission systems. After initial assessments were completed, a plan was developed and Air2 went to work repairing


76 Sep/Oct 2017


the damage. The bulk of the repairs involved the precision use of a 75-foot long-line to lift the downed lines back into position. Once the lines are lifted into position, linemen “catch off” the lines with their hot-sticks and maneuver the lines back into their normal positions to be reattached.


“It’s challenging, very precise work that takes an entire team to perform safely,” McColl said. “In this line of work, mechanics back up pilots, pilots back up linemen, and management backs up everyone, with safety being the top priority.”


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