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Nelson : Colleen : Buzz Cut! : CVEC Begins Helicopter Tree Trimming Operations (Video)

[ 0 ] March 20, 2017 |
©2017 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photos By BRL Photographer Marcie Gates : Right after the sun rises crews with CVEC in Colleen prep for the start of helicopter tree trimming operations. Monday - March 20, 2017

©2017 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photos By BRL Photographer Marcie Gates : Right after the sun rises crews with CVEC in Colleen prep for the start of helicopter tree trimming operations. Above a 30 foot long saw is ready to be hoisted into the air. Monday – March 20, 2017

Colleen / Arrington
Nelson County, Virginia

By Marcie Gates

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in Colleen, Virginia is kicked off the first day of spring with a bang. In the wee hours of Monday morning, a crew of nearly a dozen men in steel-toed boots gathered together for a safety meeting concerning the clearing of power lines in the area.


Above, Photographer / Writer Marcie Gates captures the pilot taking off from CVEC headquarters and hoisting the 30′ long saw into the air. Monday – March 20, 2017

Aerial Solutions teamed up with CVEC to utilize some super-cool equipment for a cost effective solution. Flying through the skies of Nelson County will be a helicopter with a one-hundred-foot aluminum pipe extension, and a thirty-foot-long saw attached to the bottom.

Aerial Solutions teamed up with CVEC to utilize some super-cool equipment for a cost effective solution. Flying through the skies of Nelson County will be a helicopter with a one-hundred-foot aluminum pipe extension, and a thirty-foot-long saw attached to the bottom.

Above crew prep the 30's long saw on a frosty morning at CVEC. The trimming operaitons will remove limbs near powers lines in the hardest of locations to get to. Monday - March 20, 2017

Above crew prep the 30’s long saw on a frosty morning at CVEC. The trimming operations will remove limbs near power lines in the hardest of locations to get to. Monday – March 20, 2017

“We usually do it once every couple of years,” tells Bruce Maurhoff, Senior VP at CVEC. “We focus on the parts of our system that are really hard to get equipment to, and where the cost of trimming is much more expensive doing it with mechanical equipment and personnel.”

The Pilot for this project, Ryan Smith of Blacksburg, has been flying for ten years, and he’s spent the last five performing tasks such as these. Here he preps the helicopter for takeoff from CVEC Headquarters on Monday morning- March 20, 2017

The Pilot for this project, Ryan Smith of Blacksburg, has been flying for ten years, and he’s spent the last five performing tasks such as these. Here he preps the helicopter for takeoff from CVEC Headquarters on Monday morning- March 20, 2017

“This is my first time working for CVEC,” says Smith. “The timeframe depends on the project. We could be here a week, a month, it depends on the scope of the project, the budget, the weather – there’s a lot of different factors in there.”
Jason Todd Purvis has been an employee at the Co-Op for thirteen years, “And this’ll be my third time doing this. In case something bad goes wrong – tree limb falls through the powerline, knocks the lines down – we’re there to put it back up.”


Video By Tommy Stafford – Above, back in October of 2014, the helicopter tree trimming operations out in the field in Roseland, Virginia.

Ronnie Ponton with CVEC and Pilot Ryan Smith with Aerial Solutions do a radio communications check before he takes off Monday morning - March 20, 2017

Ronnie Ponton with CVEC and Pilot Ryan Smith with Aerial Solutions do a radio communications check before he takes off Monday morning – March 20, 2017

“You gotta look at it like this,” tells Purvis, who’s personality could never truly be put into words. “We deal with high voltage all day, every day, makes a man nervous. You gotta come to work with nothing on your mind. I know I laugh and joke, but when it comes down to it, you gotta know what you’re doing. I just try to ease it up for the guys when they’re working – and it does, it works. We have good days, makes the day go by, everybody’s happy, everybody goes home safe.”

The folks at CVEC tell us the aerial trimming operations will be ongoing for the next three to four weeks.

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