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Zig-zagging black helicopter captures imaginations in Greater Victoria

Fortis conducting routine areal inspections over Greater Victoria

Like something from a movie, a black helicopter hovering and cruising over Greater Victoria had tongues wagging and keyboards afire Monday afternoon.

The craft, chartered out of Talon Aircraft on the Lower Mainland is chartered by FortisBC for routine line inspection.

Fortis is doing LiDAR mapping, which requires low altitude, and are operating with a low flying permit through Transport Canada). LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses a pulsed laser to measure variable distances by targeting an object.

The flights are part of the routine aerial inspections FortisBC does to maintain the integrity of its system.

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“It’s one of the many things we do – we routinely fly over our transmission lines to visually inspect our system, and identify and mitigate any potential threats to our system. We advise municipalities in advance of when we will be doing the aerial inspections and use LiDAR technology to visually inspect the system,” said spokesperson Nicole Brown. The work should be finished Monday.

A similar operation in Maple Ridge last week was inspecting high pressured gas transmission lines using the LiDAR system looking for methane leaks on FortisBC gas transmission pipelines.

Did you catch the helicopter in action?

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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