Thursday, March 21, 2024

Pipeliner Fly-By

 The pipeliner flies by about once a week, looking for problems along the petroleum pipeline that goes through our timber. In the rare event that we would have equipment on or near the line, we call the operator so they can inform the pilot, rather than trigger alarm bells. We always enjoy seeing him go over.


Anonymous said...

The U.S. is covered by a thick spider web of buried pipelines.
With few exceptions federal law requires regular inspection of the pipes.
Small aircraft are the most efficient method of inspection.
I found it a fun job although most pilots get bored by the repetition.

There seem to always be those property owners who are determined to dig whatever size hole where ever they want.

One particular fellow would continually dig along his long driveway to play with his backhoe. Never mind the posted signs showing a jet fuel pipe ran where he would dig. Multiple times the Sheriff was enlisted to talk with the man. The man paid no heed. He found himself subject to legal action from the feds.

Another man dug a series of deep holes to plant the rose bushes his wife wanted. He struck oil; a pipe of oil slurry burst in several holes.

811 is the number to call before digging. An inspector will be sent out pretty quick. People usually express their surprise that there are so many pipes.
Too, the pipes are not buried as deep as one may think. Over 100 years of burying pipes, many without any regulatory oversight, or evolving regulations since the pipe was buried.

Its painless to make the phone call. Also, its good insurance if you were to damage a pipe; having made the call before digging relieves you from liability.

tsquared said...

Back in the early 80's GA Power would pay for airplane rental and fuel for camera footage of the lines going from their nuclear plant to the end of line. It was cheaper for GA Power to "Hire" a rental plane at 15% above market and let a rookie pilot run the line with a camera running. As a new pilot it helped me build hours. The cheapest rental plane was a Cessna 140 taildragger that I learned how to fly in. I flew every 2 weeks for two years and added 430 hours flight time to my logs. Once you hit 500 hours flight time you lost the slot and it went to another rookie pilot. I didn't fly much past that as it was a hobby that was well beyond what I could afford. I had an uncle that was a flight instructor and he would teach all of his nephews and nieces to fly for the price of fuel. I could afford fuel but not plane rental and fuel.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Anon, and tsquared: We call the 811 folks pretty often. We have a DC line from the solar panels to the house, and a buried 7200 volt line close to that, plus water service, a county water main, phone, and fiber-optic. We don't want any conflicts with those things or the pipeline! The pipeline was replaced nearly thirty years ago, and that was fun to watch. They buried it deep and left the inactive line in the ground. A few years ago, the county water company had to upgrade the point where the water main passes under the petroleum pipeline. It's always something!

Merle said...

Hmmm, I was expecting a helicopter. Low and slow......

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Hi, Merle! We've been missing you. Hope you are OK!