WV Press InSight Videos

Pilot says helicopter saw ‘kind of jerks you around’

Times West Virginian photo by Angelee Wiley Todd Gillespie explains blades are attached to an aerial saw which is used to trim trees and vegetation in Mon Power’s coverage area.
Times West Virginian photo by Angelee Wiley
Todd Gillespie explains blades are attached to an aerial saw which is used to trim trees and vegetation in Mon Power’s coverage area.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — It was about eight years ago when Todd Gillespie decided he wanted to be a pilot.

He took lessons, and now he flies a helicopter for a company known as Rotor Blade.

 Gillespie helps with the tree-trimming project performed by FirstEnergy, and on Wednesday officials from Mon Power joined Gillespie to demonstrate the tree-trimming process in Clarksburg.

This year Mon Power will invest about $72 million in trimming trees along more than 4,500 power lines.

“We do this to improve service reliability for the customers. We like to get these transmission and distribution corridors clear so when there are storms, there are less trees and branches that could cause outages,” said Todd Meyers, a Mon Power spokesman.

Mon Power is using helicopters with aerial saws to keep trees trimmed in the area. FirstEnergy has been using saws and helicopters since the late ’80s, but Meyers said the use of the helicopters has increased over the years. As of now there are about seven helicopters trimming trees throughout Mon Power’s coverage area…

 

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