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Friday, 02 August 2013 09:01

Chopperworx Keeping the Power On

Operating throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent, Chopperworx and its fleet of A5350B3 helicopters help keep the power lines maintained and the power supply they provide more reliable.

The services they can provide cover:

  • Route selection/EIA
  • LIDAR surveys
  • Helicopter assisted power line construction with use of air cranes
  • Power line inspection/survey
  • Aerial live line maintenance
  • Insulator washing.

They have invested large amounts of money to provide specialized tools to give the best service to their clients.

The helicopters ability to fly low and slow, or hover and land immediately makes it the best aircraft for power line surveys. The helicopters which have multi-tasking platforms are able to carry out power line patrols allowing any defect on the line to be found easily. The platforms can provide High definition wide angle video, find hotspot anomalies with the Digital Radiometric Infra-Red camera, show corona radiation with the Bi Spectural UV camera and HD videos of selected tower hardware.

The experienced teams of linesmen are able capture all hardware defects.

Energised Power Line Services

Keeping power lines repaired and maintained is a costly business and the most cost effective way is with the helicopters that can provide comprehensive updates on a regular basis. Power line faults and outages cause damage to equipment such as the switchgear and the unserved energy directly affects profitability and ruins the reputation of the utility as being one of uncompromising reliability.

Live line work can be done in two ways named by the industry as:

  • Hot-stick method, which is where direct human contact with live components is avoided. Tools are fastened to fibre glass poles to carry out the work
  • Bare-hand method, the line worker wearing a special conductive suit complete with hood and conductive socks is raised to the electrical potential of the conductor being worked on. This as you can imagine is very hazardous and the line worker must not bridge the gap between the live conductor and any earthed object.

In both these methods helicopters are used to move the line worker and his tools to and from his positions on the lines. Moving on to the lines and from the lines is a very critical part of these kinds of operations. Rigorous rules and guidelines are set in place by the RSA Electrical Code of Practice for High Voltage live line work. Eskom also has specific requirements for contractors doing this kind of work.

Chopperworx and its fleet of helicopters are well versed in all these requirements and procedures.

Construction of Power Lines

This is an area where helicopters can excel as the construction of power lines are more often than not done in areas where no roads have been built or in areas that are inaccessible to land vehicles.

The specialised tools of Chopperworx allow their helicopters to assemble with pin point accuracy structures for the lines, deliver concrete directly to the foundations of the structure, and then string the power line to the structures.

Chopperworx deliver a number of different services as well as the Live line work, Construction of Power Lines and Aerial Surveys and have a reputation of delivering an exceptional service in whatever area they are contracted to take on.

Their helicopters are well maintained by an expert crew and fitted with the latest equipment and technologies which enable them to tackle the simplest or the most technically difficult job to the highest of standards.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:25

Mining Exploration - Part 2

From the past to the present, mining exploration and prospecting principles have not changed greatly, except in the diversity of minerals that are now being prospected for due to global expansions and the integration of the world´s mineral industry. Modern living standards and the need for global power have driven the industry to grow exponentially and into regions of the world that have not been explored before. The use of new sophisticated technology has enabled these areas to be explored more effectively and productively.

Many methods are used in exploration and we will look at some of them to show how and when certain methods can be used. In the Geophysical method of exploration many techniques are used, some are mentioned below:
  • Gravity
  • Magnetic
  • Gamma-Ray
  • Electromagnetic

The Geophysical method is used for finding answers to the geometry of subsurface geologic relations that cause geophysical anomalies, environmental geophysical problems and detecting materials at deeper levels. Techniques as gamma-ray spectrometry and remote sensing are used with in this method to find materials closer to the surface. Various techniques are used for the differing materials being explored. Airborne applications can be used also for aerial mapping and surveys within the geophysical method. Thermal and some electrical methods are used to find relatively shallow materials but can also help in finding materials at a deeper level.

Magnetic technique is used for explorations to find iron ore deposits and are useful in working out what type of minerals are within the exploration area. It uses small variations in magnetic mineralogy among rocks. Magnetometers are used with this method to help with the needed results. It is mainly used for surface or just below the surface of the earth exploration.

Gamma Ray technique is used for the exploration of potassium and uranium as it can provide direct detection results. Spectrometers are used in this method as they can provide quantity and geo-environmental information. This method is used for exploration in the upper 50cm of the earth.

Electromagnetic technique measures the magnetic fields of the measurable currents of the earth. It is used for finding minerals of the sulphide family. Airborne applications are useful for this type of exploration as it is able to screen and map large areas for materials and discern the structural features of the minerals to be mined.

There are many other techniques available which can be used in the exploration for minerals and oil and the sophisticated technology that can now be used, improves on all these methods. It makes them more effective and the results they give easier to come by and more reliable.

Chopper Worx gives support to this exploration area of mining with their helicopters, providing platforms for the equipment needed to execute these various techniques of exploration. Other areas of the mining industry they can support are:

  • with the long line drill moves,
  • equipment relocation,
  • LIDAR,
  • all kinds of material sampling
  • site clearances.

Providing airborne solutions to problems of varying kinds for many industries or even of personal nature is their expertise accomplishing the required result quickly and efficiently.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 00:18

Mining Exploration - Part 1

Mining is a process in which minerals and other substances of value are removed from the earth.  Substances that are commonly mined are precious metals, coal, diamonds and rock together with many others.  Oil, gas and water are also mined from the oceans, deserts and other areas.

It is not a new idea to mine for these substances and has been done since prehistoric times. Only the techniques and methods have changed in finding these substances.  Today mining is able through sophisticated technology to dig and drill deeper and explore for all these valuable substances easier.

In the earliest ages of man, he made cutting tools out of flint, natural glasses and siliceous rocks that he found on or just below the surface of the earth. Copper that was fashioned also into tools and weapons was most likely the first metal to be mined; this was in about 7000 BC. Gold and natural silver were probably mined earlier than this.

3 main methods of exploration for metallic ores have been used over the years,geological, geophysicaland more recently geochemical. For the exploration of water in earlier times the divining rod was used and is still used to day quite successfully.

Geological prospecting can discover many kinds of resources and only in the last two hundred years has science improved on the older techniques. Information is brought together such as outcropdata, borehole data and core samples.  Thesemining techniques have now enabled us to explore under the oceans to the sea floor.  Some of the oldest techniques are those of magnetic and gravity prospecting where regional anomalies within the global magnetic or gravitational field are found indicating places where various substances may be found.

In the 18th century in Europe, a simple magnetic compass was used to find iron ore veins.  Improvements were made on this technique in the 19th and 20th centuries to make exploration faster and enable exploration through magnetic surveys be done from the air.

In 1919, a salt dome was found in Texas by a seismic survey.  This is sending shock waves into the ground by pounding the earth with giant vibration trucks or as in the past exploding small dynamite charges in shallow holes.  Shock waves travel into the earth boundaries between the rocks, reflect the waves back and these waves are then detected by listening devices called geophones.  The data is processed and converted into seismic lines which gives a two dimensional picture of the underground geology giving hopefully an oil bearing supply area.

However! Drilling is the only sure way to find out if an oil or gas field exists in an area.

Oil and gas have been used for centuries.  Ancient cultures found petroleum by simply looking for oil seeps or gas seeps hoping they led to an adequate source nearby.  The Chinese used natural gas to light their Imperial Palaces.

Tar was used by the Ancient Egyptians to cover their mummies.  The word mummy is a derivation of the Arabic word for tar.

In part two, the final part, we will look at how modern day sophisticated technologies are brought into the exploration field of the mining industry.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011 00:09

Getting it Done

Chopper Worx is a highly professional company providing airborne solutions for a variety of business scenarios. From aerial surveys, aerial mapping, thermal scanning, live line maintenance, helicopter slinging, insulator washing to many other needed.

The one service that may not come to mind is furniture removal.  This may seem an excessive and expensive furniture removal solution but for people living in high rise apartments these days, it is maybe the only solution, as was the case for a penthouse suite owner in the Michelangelo towers, the fifth tallest building in Africa and the tallest building in Sandton South Africa.

This operation needed a 25 meter long anti-twist cable, a vertical climb by the helicopter, a hover at 400ft above ground level, then positioning thehelicopter carefully to lower the furniture on the balcony of the suite. This all took 10 minutes but the planning and paperwork to get to this point took two weeks.

Not just any pilot is able to do this kind of operation and Mr. Deon Rossouw, the founder of Chopper Worxtook this job on personally.  Having some 5,000 hours of helicopter flying experience and 1,500 hours logged doing vertical reference lifting work, he was very capable of doing the very sophisticated and precise flying that was needed to bring this operation to a successful completion.

Together with all the relevant departments, the SA Civil Aviation Authority, Metropolitan Police, Fire and Rescue services, property owners and insurance for the furniture, the removal of the furniture went off superbly.

It was a great example of how professional Chopper Worx conducts its business and how good their relationship is with the government departments. It also shows the adaptability of their business and the many air borne scenarios they can find the solution for.  The visibility of the operation showed everyone the expertise of their pilots and the safety standards they needed to accommodate to lift furniture to a high rise building in the middle of a busy city.

Our expertise, provide confidence and a peace of mind to our clients in that they have chosen the right company for the job.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:33

A Brief History

Helicopters, what would we do without them?

Development of the helicopter began when the FL282 went into service for the military, being the first helicopter to be mass produced which made it possible for them to be used in WW II. This made it the most popular helicopter to be used at this time.

Since then helicopters of many different designs have been produced for purposes of the military, for the emergency services, for companies providing aerial mapping, geographical surveys together with being air support for the offshore oil and gas industry.  They are used in the tourism industry, helping in the telecommunication industry and aiding the hoisting of air cranes. As time moves on, many other uses are being found everyday for the utilization of this very versatile mode of air transport.

The services helicopters provide, play a very important part in the success of many businesses. They are  now, not just a luxury for the more affluent business or various service providers but a necessity they can`t do without.

Helicopters need pilots, and because of the many various types of helicopters and the jobs they have to do, these men must be very well trained and have lots of flying experience behind them. Controlling a helicopter is not as easy as it looks. Health wise the pilots must be mentally and physically fit.  Having a heart attack in a helicopter would not be the wisest thing to do.

Helicopter pilots have to be experienced flyers. Many of them come out of the military where their training is very comprehensive and demanding.  They have to have the minimum of 200 flight hours `logged up´ to become a commercial pilot, then to be able to fly various kinds of helicopters and develop the ability to fly at night wearing night goggles that limits their field of sight to 40%.  All flights are made according to government standards.

They have to be qualified in the various types of specialized flying for the jobs they will be doing, and use the applicable safety standards to comply with the needs of the aviation authorities. Their flying hours are closely monitored so the pilots are not jeopardizing the end result of the work they are being paid to do, and more importantly they are not putting their own lives in danger.  The amount of flight hours they have and the types of helicopters they are able to fly guarantee their places in the premier companies of the global helicopter industry.

A series of helicopters such as the Bell 206 Jet ranger, 206 Long ranger and the 407, can be used in many different capacities. From being used in power line scanning, to doing live line maintenance, mining explorationand aerial cinematography. Helping also with the many aerial applications needed for various types of businesses, being used as transportation for tourism and also the electronic news gathering industry.

There are many other types of helicopters in the aviation world to choose from and using the right ones to do the relevant jobs needed is most important for the client and the future of their business.

In choosing the correct type of helicopter for the job you ensure a good reputation for the company, keep the costs down and control your time efficiently. Having a fleet of well maintained helicopters done in accordance with appropriate  regulations ensuring their airworthiness gives confidence to the client and they feel as if they have the `right company for the job´.

Helicopters are a significant invention for this day and age and the tasks they perform are many and varied helping to make life easier. Anton Flatter producing the FL282 did not know the change he was helping to make in daily living

Monday, 11 April 2011 23:05

Helicopters in Industry

As each new breakthrough surpasses the last and we continue our pursuit of innovations that will make things even better, faster, many of our various older feats of mechanical genius seem to be forgotten.

For example, helicopters, to some, are such an everyday sight these days that we pay them no heed as they fly by us. The helicopters we see are, more often than not, police or emergency services helicopters, keeping an eye on things from up in the air, or bringing us up to speed on the state of the roads below as we brave the morning rush traffic to work.

But the number of ways in which these remarkable machines contribute to the speed with which our world’s demands are met is nothing less than astonishing, if you really think about it. Here are a few examples:

Mining Exploration

Helicopters are excellent for accessing various different types of terrain quickly and without too much difficulty, and thus eliminate long, costly mining survey projects. They can be used for a variety of services to the mining industry, including geophysical surveys, aerial surveys, LIDAR, aerial mapping, thermal scanning and various others.

Power Line Work

Power line construction and live line maintenance, power line inspections and insulator washing are all done quickly and with the minimum interruption to power supply when using helicopters.

Air Cranes

Their excellent manoeuvrability makes helicopters particularly well suited to the construction industry, as they can be used to hoist large, heavy machinery and components vertically and to far greater heights than what cranes could reach. If you’ve ever wondered how all those ridiculously tall high-rise buildings we read about are kitted out with their state-of-the-art air conditioning and various other systems and finishes, wonder no more. Helicopter assisted construction is one of the ways in which legendary, sky-scraping landmarks are made possible.

Medical Evacuations

Countless lives have been saved over the years thanks to the speed with which trauma victims are able to be reached and transported by helicopter, ensuring that they receive immediate care.

Other industries in which helicopters have proved a highly effective and efficient option include telecommunications, aerial photography and cinematography and fire fighting.

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