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Power line patrol

Tenacious T

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I have been flying power line patrol in a 500 for a contractor for the local power company for close to a year. It's got me wondering what opportunities there are for doing similar work around the country. I'd like to move to southern California eventually I am wondering if California Edison uses their own aircraft/pilots or if they use contractors. If anyone knows who is doing this work across the US and especially in southern CA I would appreciate the info.



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Edison flight ops is very active and very safety focused - they have their own fleet of AS350s and EC135s (1 has the first dual external-hook certified helo) + a 500. They have a lot pretty sizable region and geography to cover - So Cal to Central Valley & Sierras. They should be moving into new digs at KCNO this coming summer if plans hold. Torbjorn Corell is the chief pilot (and is on the HAI board of directors) and would be the one to speak with regarding current/future opportunities. They tend to keep most of the work in-house and contract (usually) only for large jobs that they don't have the capacity for (Aircrane stuff...). PM me for contact info.



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  • 1 year later...

Power Companies:

Southern California Edison, (CA)

Boneville Power Administration, (OR)

Public Service Electric & Gas, (NJ)

Salt River Project, (AZ)

Portland General Electric (OR)

National Grid, (NY) &

Teneesee Valley Authority, (AL) have in house flight departments that do it.


Most other power companies use contractors.

Some use Specialized power line contractors that work nation wide like:

Haverfield, (PA)

Air 2, (TN)

Winco (OR)

Wilson Construciton (OR)



Others use local operators, with varying patrol time and experience

Some that do a decent amount of it are:

Chesapeake Bay Helicopters (VA)

Minuteman (MT)

Hillsboro Aviation (OR)



Hope that Helps!

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  • 4 years later...

Spent time flying powerline in the north central midwest in a B206. The company I flew for doesn't do their own inspection work anymore..hasn't for years IIRC and now uses contractors. I didn't mind it at all as I was on a rotation where I flew the Hawker or the King Air like every other week. The only thing that really bothered me about flying power line was trying to stay awake after lunch....especially on a nice warm day and flying into the sun!!!! I suppose if a guy's main goal was to build time, it would be an OK way to do it, but there is really not much of a challenge to power line patrol (other than staying awake!).

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  • 1 month later...

You'll find all of their minimums on their respective sites. The usual, 1500, 1000 turbine, time in type, etc etc. Pretty generic. I had 2000hrs helicopter with about 1500 in MD500s with long line and off-site experience and couldnt even get an acknowledgment that they received my resume for a couple of those places.

Edited by Flying Pig
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What are the minimums required to fly power line patrol with one of the companies above?

There's companies not listed above that do patrols as well, when in fact it's not their primary buisness. An example was the first patrol I did, the company I worked for mostly did tours. The selection process for that depended on experience and also if the owner trusted you to represent to company in the field, that's a big factor that will come into play during your career. PM me if you have any questions, good luck!

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