PG&E Will Fly Low Tomorrow Over Fortuna, Eureka and Arcata

PG&E helicopter

Helicopter working for PG&E in 2016. [Image provided by a reader]

Press release from Pacific Gas and Electric Company:

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct routine low-level helicopter patrols to inspect gas transmission lines in Humboldt County. A helicopter from Red Bluff will fly between 300 and 500 feet over Fortuna, Eureka and Arcata.

PG&E patrols remote gas lines, which are often located in rural areas, by helicopter as part of its continuing effort to ensure the safety and reliability of its natural gas system. If issues or obstructions are identified, it is possible helicopters may need to fly at a lower altitude for additional inspections.

A spotter in the helicopter uses a GPS-enabled tablet with mapping data to navigate the pipelines and document excavation and construction activity, or other observations that warrant follow-up. Where appropriate, PG&E ground personnel are sent to construction areas to verify that safe digging practices are being followed. This includes confirming the use of a valid 811 ticket for proper marking of underground utility lines that help prevent the gas line from being hit.

In 2017, there were 17 accidental strikes on gas lines in Humboldt County and 13 in Mendocino County. Accidental strikes cause damage to underground gas, electric and telecommunications infrastructure and are public safety risks. Striking a gas line during excavation can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages to an entire neighborhood. It can be prevented with a free call to 811.

Weather permitting, flights will occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PG&E will fly in a contracted helicopter out of Eureka, likely a Bell 206L3 Long Ranger that is blue and white.

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7 comments

  • Drone pollinators inc.

    Sessions 👍

  • let the folks in san bruno tell you about the gas inspections. how do you smell gas flyin around in a copter. or the people in santa rosa smelling smoke, sleep tight tonight your PGE is on guard!

  • Were those Na. Guard copters flying over Rohnerville yesterday? Saw four, but wasn’t close enough to see what kind they were.

  • ARMY APACHE helos

  • Flying a helicopter once a year isn’t going to stop digging accidents, as seen with the 30 accidents reported here. What PG&E needs to do — and refuses, because they don’t want to spend their profits — is install automated or remote shut off valves that close pipeline gas when accidents happen. If this was installed in San Bruno, they wouldn’t have had a fireball in a residential area for 90 minutes. Shame on PG&E for putting profits over safety.

    • There must be more to it than greed for profits as the utility commission would certainly approve a rate hike to pay for it.

  • unbridled phillistine

    How many Felony charges was PGandE convicted of in that SanBruno mess? PgandE does not give a shit! I have 2 family members that work there and their stories are crazy, Hard to believe.

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