Keen eyes and steady hands are a requirement for the three employees of the Consumers Energy Flight Operations department. Carl Boylan, Randy Kulhawik and Mark Cox each play a specific role in preventing safety incidents and outages for our customers.
Boylan and Kulhawik spend their days in a helicopter observing pieces of the high voltage distribution system and the gas pipelines. They fly low to the poles checking for broken arms, ruined transformers, rotted poles and any other hazards. Kulhawik photographs and files any issues he finds so the damage can be repaired.
“Nobody knows a problem is out there until we report it,” Boylan said. “We look at it as preventative maintenance. We want to find things before they fail.”
Patrolling the assets by air is an efficient, productive way to view any problems that normally would not be visible from the ground.
“We can cover hundreds of miles of line a day by helicopter,” Boylan said. “On foot you may only be able to cover 10 to 20 miles.”
With two helicopters, the department has been in operation since 1979. The work they perform each day helps keep our employees and customers safe.
“Our goal is to provide reliable, uninterrupted service to our customers,” Boylan said. “We take a lot of ownership and pride in what we do.”