Low flying helicopter buzzing around region is not a threat

Joplin News First

Electric company is conducting their annual line inspection.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Many people believe conspiracy theories and think the worst-case scenario. And not sure why but it applies to helicopters. They seem to stir up people. Maybe because they are a rare sight?

“Is there a fugitive on the loose or something? Helicopter was flying super low around 23rd and Connecticut, any idea?”

It’s a valid question and we have no problem replying on our tipline or FB messenger 24 hours a day. This one was easily answered by the Joplin Police Department.

“The local power company is conducting its 2020 Aerial Transmission Patrol. They are flying in a yellow and black Bell Long Range helicopter w/ tail number N6160Y. They will be flying at low levels across Joplin just above tree tops and power lines/poles So, no need to call the police on this one.”

Capt William Davis, Joplin Police Department

IS USING HELICOPTERS COMMON?

“Completing these routine inspections via helicopter is an effective way to ensure our high-voltage system remains reliable, the helicopter can provide workers with a clear view of our overhead equipment far more quickly and easily than workers on the ground using trucks and aerial devices. During the inspection process, helicopters will hover low in areas near substations and transmission lines. When an issue is identified, a notification, along with a photograph, will be forwarded to the appropriate operations area so the repair can be made.” ***NOTE: In the future drones could be utilized but for now due to the size of equipment needed to carry on-board helicopters are used.***

ELECTRIC CONTRACTOR: More Utilities Using Helicopters To Inspect Lines (in part)

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