YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — If you’ve seen a giant sawblade dangling from a helicopter in York County, you’re not going crazy.
Metropolitan Edison is using a helicopter equipped with an aerial saw to trim trees along four difficult-to-access power line corridors crossing York and Adams Counties.
Impressively, the helicopter is equipped with a giant multi-bladed arial saw sporting ten, 24-inch rotary blades extending the cutting surface a whopping 20 feet!
Perhaps more impressively, Metropolitan Edison says the operation covers more area in a day than a ground crew might complete in a week. It also eliminates the safety risks of conventional bucket trucks or tree climbers cutting limbs near high voltage equipment.
The company says the saw can cut cleanly through tree limbs 8 to 10 inches in diameter, which fall straight to the ground with help from the helicopter propeller wash.
But don’t fear — ground crews will flag and stop motorists along roads if the helicopter saw is working nearby and move limbs that have fallen onto roadways, yards, agricultural fields or in streams into adjacent wooded areas.
The helicopter in use is a white Hughes MD500 with blue and yellow stripes prominently marked with a registration number of N53846 in blue paint.
The work is expected to conclude by the end of May.