The use of drones has increased rapidly in the past several years. Coming in various sizes ranging from hummingbird to bald eagle, these remote-controlled aircraft are being used in a vast number of ways by government, industries, commercial enterprises and hobbyists.
Electric utilities have come to rely on drones to help inspect power lines, including during storm restoration work when it might be difficult to access certain areas. While drones have not yet filled the skies, as many predict they one day will, Indiana’s electric cooperatives remind both hobbyists and commercial users to be aware of dangers when operating the little aerial devices near power lines and electrical equipment.
“Some of the same things we learned about flying kites as kids carry over to drones, too,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “While drones are not tethered to you with a string like a kite that can fall across overhead power lines and put you in direct contact with electricity, drones still present safety concerns their pilots need to consider.”
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.