Taking to the air to check North East's power supply
The annual check from the air of the North East's power lines has been completed.
Over the last seven months, Northern Powergrid has been using helicopters to inspect around 12,500km of power lines and more than 137,000 tower structures for signs of any potential damage or deterioration.
Pete Wilstrop, Northern Powergrid’s network inspections manager, said: “Patrolling our power network from the air allows us to detect any potential problems before they occur.
“These regular inspections ensure we can provide our customers with a reliable power supply.
“Our power lines are often located in isolated areas and have to stand up to rain, snow and high winds over the winter months.
“Checking them from the air is the best and most efficient way of making sure we can keep our overhead network in good working order.
“Any remedial work can be spotted and dealt with so we are ready for the winter months ahead.
“We fly our helicopter at speeds of around 30 kilometres an hour at low levels.
“Whilst there is some engine noise, the crew work hard to keep it to a minimum and reduce any potential disruption to local communities while they carry out these essential checks.
“Wherever possible we try to avoid areas where sensitive livestock is grazing.”
To see a video about how Northern Powergrid carries out its overhead inspections visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCYCyoPkonw