Utility Line Inspections by Drone Phoenix Air
Phoenix Air Unmanned logs 13,000 miles of BVLOS utility line inspections by drone
By Jim Magill
After about three years of operations, Cartersville, Georgia-based Phoenix Air Unmanned announced it has logged more than 13,000 miles of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights, inspecting utility transmission lines for Xcel Energy.
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The company conducted its inspection flights under Xcel Energy’s certificate of waiver authorizing BVLOS flights without visual observers along the route of flight. The FAA-issued waiver allows for use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) surveillance spanning Xcel’s 18,000 miles of transmission infrastructure.
In an interview, Will Wheeler, Phoenix’s director of operations, said the flights took place across Xcel’s service territory, which encompasses a broad swath of the U.S. Midwest and Southwest, including the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado,…