Helicopter flight is the fastest way to inspect miles of power and pipelines, especially in remote areas. Utility services can connect between substations through very difficult terrain, sometimes impossible to navigate with an automobile in an efficient manner. Using a helicopter to inspect power and pipelines from the air saves countless man hours necessary for ground inspections, helps to identify trouble zones and dangerous trees before lines are damaged, and gives engineers a point of view that is otherwise unachievable.
Utilizing a helicopter to inspect power and pipe lines allows energy providers to dispatch targeted repair solutions not only saving capital, but also minimizing energy downtime. Many helicopter companies have chosen to do inspection with costly turbine powered aircraft, however the advantages of using a turbine aircraft for inspection and planning are almost non-existant as compared to using a piston powered aircraft. Independent Helicopters conducts inspections with Robinson R-22 and R-44 helicopters that have an operational cost much less than turbine powered aircraft. Lower operating costs mean savings for utility providers, and more intricate inspections.
Not only can a helicopter provide opportunities to inspect and identify utility issues, but they can also save countless amounts of capital for planning. In the air an engineer can travel to locations and across distances in a fraction of the time a ground team would take to accomplish the same task, with less danger than traveling by ATV in heavily wooded terrain. A single engineer with GPS equipment can survey miles of territory in a matter of hours, as opposed to the days or weeks it would take from the ground.