After low-flying helicopters over the Idyllwild area created an uproar because of their noise over the past few weeks, both Southern California Edison and the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed they were hired by SCE to survey lines and poles in the area.
SCE Media Advisor of Corporate Communications Mary Ann Milbourn said the surveys are meant not only prevent catastrophes — such as wildfire — but to protect residents and visitors to the mountain communities. She also said that depending on weather, the work will continue on and off for a few more weeks.
Another SCE representative had earlier denied the helicopters were hired by SCE but Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector Darren Richards confirmed that Summit, the helicopter service SCE uses, has had helicopters in the Idyllwild area surveying for problems with poles and lines last week and the prior week. He said he spoke with a Summit representative.
Richards also said Summit is operating within applicable FAA laws.
A green McDonnell Douglas helicopter owned by Shoreline Aircraft Leasing circled over Idyllwild residential/business areas for several hours Wednesday, June 5. Last week, a Hughes 369D helicopter owned by Dragonfly Aviation LLC out Laredo, Texas, also carried out a similar flight pattern over the area for several days.
The Town Crier received several phone complaints about the helicopters.
U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Zachary Behrens said he talked to SCE Government Affairs about notifying the Town Crier when helicopters were planning to do more surveys in this area so it could notify the community