- Additional Details
- Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
- Rating: Not Rated
- Number of Discs: 1
- Run Time: 50 Minutes
- Region: Region 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Language: English
- Studio: History Channel
- DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
This is the remarkable story of the courageous men who maintain and repair live high-voltage power lines from helicopters. They are an elite team of pilot and lineman who are called in to look for damage and make critical repairs... without ever turning the power off.
Helicopters aren't supposed to fly near power lines and men aren't supposed to touch live wires... but these guys do it all day long. The process is called "barehanding" and involves a helicopter flying up to live power lines (in this case, 345,000-volt wires). Out from the helicopter and to the power line stretches a metal wand, energizing the helicopter and the lineman to the full strength of the line. The lineman, wearing a special metal fiber suit, then works on the wire - sometimes sitting on the helicopter skid, other times climbing onto the bare line. This technique makes the lineman, the chopper and the pilot all part of one electrical circuit... that means 345,000 volts run through both men and machine.
Live line maintenance is fast, efficient and... very dangerous. For two days The History Channel® followed the brave members of USA Airmobile minute-by-minute, as they risked their lives to inspect and repair critical 345,000-volt power lines in Wisconsin that had been struck by a tornado.
The show also traces the development of this high-risk work invented by USA Airmobile's Mike Kurtgis in 1979.