Did you ever wonder why the Outpost always posts those boring posts about when and where the PG&E helicopter is going to patrol? Because bad things happen when we don’t. We got telephone calls, emails, text messages and Facebook wall posts today asking us what was up with the chopper over the north part of the county today.

PG&E was a tiny bit late in getting the information out to us this time. But here it is! That was, as usual, a PG&E helicopter!

From PG&E:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is conducting low-level helicopter patrols to inspect electric lines for maintenance in parts of Humboldt County. Work began on Tuesday, September 20 and will be completed on Thursday, September 22.

Message to KHUM’s Bayley Brown.

Tuesday, September 20:

  • Routine inspections took place from Willow Creek to Hoopa and then again from Fresh Water to the Blue Lake Area.
Wednesday, September 21 through Thursday, September 22:
  • Helicopters will also be flying in the areas of Humboldt and Bridgeville on Wednesday and in the remote areas of Northern Humboldt County; including, north of Orick to the Eureka / Freshwater area (and in between) through Thursday.
The contracted helicopters fly at approximately 500 feet, depending on the area and if livestock are present. PG&E patrols remote power lines, which are often located in rural areas, by helicopter as part of its continuing effort to ensure safety and reliability of its electric system. If issues are identified, it’s possible that they may need to inspect at a lower altitude or by foot patrol. 

Weather permitting; PG&E will patrol by air from about 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
PG&E regularly patrols and inspects its lines to ensure safety and reliability, and to identify equipment in need of repair. This allows PG&E to proactively schedule repairs that might otherwise result in power outages. In rough country, remote areas or areas where there are fewer trees, the most efficient and sometimes only way to accomplish this is by helicopter.