Entergy uses helicopters to work on big power lines - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Entergy uses helicopters to work on big power lines

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HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Entergy took us along Thursday to show how they work on big power lines while they still have electricity running through them. They use helicopters to transport workers to the lines and the towers that hold them up.

Crews are hoisted up by Hughes 500 helicopters to install cross arms and do other maintenance work on 500,000 volt, and 115,000 volt power lines. They sometimes have to do the work suspended from the helicopter.  

The helicopter used is a variation of one used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam. The choppers usually pick up about 800 pounds, including giant 30 foot, 320 pound steel cross arms.   

"We have a lot of customers on the lines, so our guys are highly trained," said Entergy spokesperson Mara Hartman. "it's risky, it's dangerous, but they are trained for this kind of work and they do it so we don't have to shut down hospitals and residences, and schools and it's just all in a days work for them."

An added benefit of using helicopters to fly the men in for the work is that it does not tear up fields where crops are growing.

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