Despite our advisories on the presence of PG&E helicopters and daring linemen known in the trade as “fliers” working atop local transformers – our neighbors continue to deliver accounts of high-wire derring-do and “near crashes.”
Perfectly safe and we’re told the fliers enjoy the work with about 250 workers utility company employees qualified to do it. They don’t just send any old person up there, either, and the chopper pilots are especially skilled, maneuvering into hair-raising proximity of energized power lines with a supervising “shot caller” on the ground advising pilots of changes in wind or obstructions.
Local Paul Ashby got close enough to the operation to appreciate the skill and nerve of the crews involved and took a few pictures along the way.
Work is expected to continue for another couple of months and using the choppers, PG&E says, is easier than bringing in ground trucks.
Anyone care to give it a try? Apparently you need to have ice water in your veins.