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Utility to start aerial power line inspections

a helicopter crew from Aerial Solutions, Inc. of North Carolina, hauls a heavy-duty air saw over the town of Cooperstown, Wis. American Transmission Co., which operates a 345,000-volt energy transmission line that runs from the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in northeastern Manitowoc County west across southern Brown County, hired the helicopter to trim trees along the transmission lines.

A helicopter crew from Aerial Solutions Inc., North Carolina, hauls a heavy-duty air saw over the town of Cooperstown, Wis., recently. American Transmission Co., which operates a 345,000-volt energy transmission line that runs from the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in northeastern Manitowoc County west across southern Brown County, hired the helicopter to trim trees along the transmission lines.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Northwestern Wisconsin residents might soon notice a helicopter cruising over their neighborhoods.

Xcel Energy plans to start a six-day aerial inspection of its transmission lines April 21. Helicopter crews will look for defects, loose fittings and other potential problems that could cause outages.

The patrols will take place during the day. The helicopter will fly within 50 feet of the lines at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The helicopter will hover if crews need to take a closer look at a potential problem.

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