Flying visit to power lines

A tower insulator being washed by a helicopter patrolling power lines.
A tower insulator being washed by a helicopter patrolling power lines.

Patrols were held in Darlington, Sawyers Valley, Northam, Wundowie and Cunderdin.

Western Power’s head of asset performance, Mark Wilshusen, said helicopters were needed to inspect power lines in otherwise inaccessible areas.

‘Western Power undertakes helicopter patrols every year, generally during September and November when the weather conditions are favourable,’ he said.

‘If network maintenance is required during an inspection, highly skilled technicians safely repair the power line while in the air by sitting on a platform located in the helicopter.

‘We also use helicopters to safely wash network equipment by spraying it with de-mineralised water to remove dust and pollution that builds up on insulators and can cause electrical faults.

‘De-mineralised water prevents the current travelling up the water to the helicopter.’