The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires pipeline operators to routinely inspect their pipeline rights-of-way (ROW) for potential problems. Leaks, (as evidenced by dead vegetation on the right of way or continual bubbling or a film on the water), construction excavation, or erosion. Pipeline inspections can be done on foot, in trucks or ATV's, but due to difficult terrain, the process of inspecting on the surface is labor intensive and may be hazardous. Aerial pipeline inspections may be conducted with airplanes equipped with video or still cameras. While airplanes are faster than ground crews, they must maintain a minimum altitude and airspeed over populated areas. Helicopters can safely observe the lines at lower altitudes and can hover over or land at problem sites. Airplanes at higher altitudes typically render video images with lower resolution than our helicopters equipped with high-resolution still cameras.
Because Helicopters, Inc. pilots are OQ qualified, they are trained to identify anomalies along the pipeline ROW. Our pilots can capture detailed, GPS-encoded, images of problem areas to be analyzed by the customer on the same the day of the flight. Because these images are GPS-encoded, customers can view the location of each anomaly on a digital map and rapidly dispatch a qualified pipeline technician.
Helicopters, Inc. believes that providing pipeline customers with high-resolution still photos of pipeline anomalies is far more efficient than providing customers with hours of lower-resolution video that they must watch carefully to identify the anomalies.
Helicopters, Inc. has considerable experience in aerial pipeline inspection. Our pilots are OQ qualified, allowing them to fly as pilot and observer, saving customers the expense of their own observers on flights.