NOVI – ITC will be conducting its semi-annual aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission towers and lines in north Michigan from approximately Friday through Tuesday, June 21-25, weather permitting.

The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system which is operated by ITC’s Michigan operating entities, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.

The inspections will cover the northern part of the state, including all or parts of Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford counties.

According to a press release from ITC, these patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence.

They include inspections of steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.

The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines.

The flights began in southeast Michigan on May 28, and will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula.