Ride Share, TVA-Style

You think your morning commute is bad? Imagine if you had to climb a 100-foot transmission tower every morning just to get to work. Check out how TVA uses helicopters to transport transmission personnel to job sites to reduce fatigue and enhance performance.

The air around TVA’s Bellefonte Nuclear plant was abuzz with activity as the utility conducted helicopter transfer training for linemen. TVA sees the value in helicopter line transfers as a way to improve safety and reduce the cost of maintaining over 16,000 miles of transmission lines across seven states.
“Fatigue is a risk factor for accidents,” says Ken Matthews, TVA Transmission Field Construction supervisor. “Using the helicopter to take crews and equipment to the tops of tall structures takes fatigue factor out of the equation. This allows our employees to safely focus on the task at hand.”

Ride along with the students in full 360º virtual reality as they practice their transfer skills.

With over 100,000 structures, it is not uncommon for TVA linemen to climb towers that are over 100 feet or more before performing work.
Using helicopters to ferry men and equipment to the worksite improves safety and saves time and money. Matthews says that helicopters can increase efficiency greatly because crews don’t have to climb—or carry equipment into rugged, remote areas.
At the Bellefonte training school, linemen practiced their transfer skills under the watchful eyes of instructors.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get frequent flyer miles, but we get a great view,” says Matthews.