Indiana Michigan Power, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, will use a drone to inspect transmission lines in Northeast Indiana and East Central Indiana beginning Monday, Sept. 25.
In addition, as part of a separate project, a traditionally piloted helicopter will be flying near transmission towers in the area from LaOtto to Huntertown this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23.
The drone inspections of lines and poles help Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) ensure the reliability and integrity of the area’s transmission system. The inspections will continue for about four weeks and involve four transmission lines. Areas where the drone will be used:
• Northeast Fort Wayne
• Eastern Allen County
• Grant County, including Marion
• Northwest Delaware County
I&M is contracting with ReliaPOLE Inspection Services (now Exo), a company that has conducted numerous drone flights. Each inspection flight will include a licensed drone pilot and a camera operator/inspector on the ground. ReliaPOLE (Exo) will follow Federal Aviation Administration rules requiring the pilot to always maintain a line of sight to the drone, so the inspection team will move from place-to-place on the ground along the transmission lines.