Helicopter Inspecting JCP&L Lines Starting Feb. 1 or 2

A Black, Hughes MD500, number N774CB. (Photo courtesy JCP&L)
A Black, Hughes MD500, number N774CB. (Photo courtesy JCP&L)

Jersey Central Power & Light and local authorities are letting area residents know that a helicopter will be flying and hovering at times Friday and Saturday to look at electrical wires.

Weather permitting—and Friday, it is snowing in the region—the Chesapeake Bay Helicopter will be performing UV/IR patrols on all JCP&L 115kV lines.

What exactly does that mean?

A UV/IR patrol has the helicopter—in this case, N774CB – Black, Hughes MD500—going about 25-35 miles per hours, and may hover over areas for an extended period of time. The chopper carry special equipment mounted on their undersides to get detailed looks at the conductor, insulators, shield wire, and hardware through the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum.

The patrols, which are expected to start Feb. 1 or 2, will take 3-5 to complete.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at jpeacock@jerseyshoreonline.com.