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Helicopter Unit

With 92,000 kms of overhead lines to be checked and maintained, our unique, Bristol Airport-based Helicopter Unit operates 5 H135 aircraft to patrol the National Grid Electricity Distribution network. 

The helicopters and their crew can efficiently and effectively patrol between 45,000 and 50,000 kms every year, covering large distances in relatively short times, improving response times to faults and enabling National Grid Electricity Distribution to meet our commitments to restoring customers’ power. 

Each helicopter is crewed with a pilot, an observer and assistant observer, who are focused on identifying defects and faults, and they are supported by a small team of engineers. 

Its exciting work and safety is our priority. So our helicopter teams are regularly checked and trained. Qualified helicopter pilots begin with at least 6 months training in the low-level environment that steps up in line with their experience. Observers also receive extensive training.