The FAA continues to warn both rotary- and fixed-wing pilots of the danger posed by communications and meteorological towers being erected across the U.S. According to a 2012 American Wind Energy Association report, more than 45,000 wind turbines alone are now operating in the U.S., many less than 200 feet in height.
Electric power distribution
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for the AgustaWestland A109S requiring the modification of the electrical power distribution system to carry a higher electrical load. It was prompted by an electrical failure that resulted from inadequate functioning of the 35 amperes “Batt Bus” circuit breaker.
The breakdown in power supplies that caused serious disruption throughout India in late July has prompted the country’s government to draw up plans for using helicopters to support patrolling and restoring transmission lines. Government-owned Power Grid, which runs five separate electricity grids across India, is expected to issue requests for proposals for acquiring or leasing rotorcraft to be better prepared next time the grid fails or is damaged during an emergency such as an earthquake.