Why you might see a helicopter flying around the Springfield area this week


Residents in Springfield may see a helicopter cruising overhead near transmission lines throughout this week.

FirstEnergy Forestry will conduct its annual transmission line vegetation patrol in the Ohio Edison Territory throughout this week. The patrols will include a forestry specialist flying with a helicopter pilot to identify any vegetation conditions that could affect transmission lines and need further inspection from the ground or other corrective actions.

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Haverfield will be the helicopter company assisting in the inspections on Ohio Edison transmission lines.

The pilot will be in communication with any local airports when in their airspace. The helicopter will be flying at a speed of about 35 to 40 mph above or along the side of the lines, and may circle around for a closer inspection.

The helicopter tail number is N8330P and is painted black with red numbers, according to a news release from FirstEnergy.

Poor weather and emergency patrols or repairs elsewhere may cause re-scheduling delays.

FirstEnergy also operates a tree trimming program through Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary, that has continued in 2018 in an attempt to control vegetation and reduce the risk of issues related to trees. The program has a budget of $29 million for this year.

In the first five months of 2018, the tree trimming program was operated in more than 1,000 circuit miles of electric lines in Ohio Edison’s 34-county service area.

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