Have you ever dreamt of a career that combines high-voltage electrical repair work with hanging from a helicopter? If so, Haverfield Aviation might just have the perfect position for you. Specializing in servicing power lines in treacherous and unforgiving regions of the country, this company takes it up a notch by reaching these locations exclusively by helicopter. The job requires a skilled lineman who fearlessly hangs out of the helicopter, ensuring the national grid remains in optimal working condition.
What is an Aerial Lineman or Helicopter Lineman?
Aerial linemen, also known as helicopter linemen, are responsible for installing and maintaining overhead power lines or grid wiring. Their expertise lies in high-power distribution systems, specifically replacing wires and lines between substations, among other components. By utilizing helicopters, these linemen enhance efficiency by eliminating the need for vehicle access to hard-to-reach substations and towers situated in the backcountry’s hilly terrain.
Remote access not only improves efficiency but also minimizes environmental impact. It eliminates the necessity for constructing roads or clearing foliage to reach these areas and equipment.
The Challenges of an Aerial Lineman
Maintaining the power grid is no easy feat. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, overhead line operators wear seat belts and suspend themselves hundreds of feet in the air from the side of a helicopter. Adding to the excitement, these operators must keep their tools within reach at all times, which sometimes means tethering chainsaws to themselves while hanging from the helicopter.
Helicopter pilots also face their fair share of challenges. They often spend many hours navigating what they call the “Deadman’s Curve” – an altitude and airspeed combination statistically more likely to result in fatality. However, Haverfield Aviation meticulously trains its pilots to maneuver in these difficult environments.
Working around high-voltage power lines is inherently dangerous, even under normal circumstances. Dozens of powerline workers lose their lives each year. When you compound this danger with the use of helicopters and the presence of high-flying power tools, the potential risks multiply.
“Helicopters are dangerous. Power lines are dangerous. When you put the two together, you’re facing double jeopardy… You must remain alert at all times, ensuring your best performance. It only takes a small voltage to stop your heart… If something goes wrong, your chances of survival are slim.”
— John Brooks, Aerial Lineman at Haverfield Aviation, in an interview with CNBC
How Much Do Helicopter Linemen Earn?
Quite a lot, actually. For those brave souls who venture into this line of work, the rewards are substantial. On average, power line workers earn around $78,300 annually, depending on the region. However, aerial linemen can earn significantly more. Experienced professionals can quickly cross the $100,000 mark each year.
What Are You Waiting For?
So, if you’re someone who thrives on the possibility of near-death experiences to spice up your workweek, perhaps becoming an aerial lineman is your calling. Let’s face it – many of us are either stuck in an office or making a living off our metaphorical chewing gum.
With a cautious mind and an appreciation for adrenaline-fueled situations, you can live an exciting life – hanging off the side of a helicopter, suspended 100 feet in the air with your tools in hand.
For more information on becoming an air or helicopter line operator, or to apply for the most dangerous job in the world, visit Haverfield Aviation’s official website.