Helicopter replaces aerial markers on Basin Electric line

Helicopter takes off with aerial marker

That's not a beach ball. That's an aerial marker.

It’s a bird … it’s a plane. No, it’s a helicopter — carrying a big beach ball? That’s not a beach ball. It’s an aerial marker, and it has a very serious purpose in life. The large, brightly colored spheres make transmission lines more visible at places where they need to be, like river crossings.

Prepping the aerial marker

Paul Kaiser preps an aerial marker.

Basin Electric took to the skies in late April as a helicopter was used to inspect and replace aerial markers on high-voltage transmission lines in North Dakota. Repairs like this are not frequently needed, and they’re done from the air while the line is energized.

The cooperative hired Haverfield Aviation of Gettysburg, PA, to inspect the markers where lines cross the Missouri River and replace the damaged ones.

Helicopter flies back from river crossing.

The helicopter returns from replacing a marker.

Markers on six lines were inspected: two south of Mandan; one near Wilton, and three at the Leland Olds Station near Stanton. These photos were taken about 25 miles south of Mandan, where the 345-kilovolt line that runs from the Antelope Valley Station to the Broadland, SD, substation crosses the Missouri River.


  1. Tracy F. says:

    Very cool story!!!

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