Slave Lake Helicopters Pilot Danny Ragan transfers powerline technicians. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

features Slave Lake Helicopters helps bridge the Peace

In September 2020, Slave Lake Helicopters was part of a team that brought high-speed fiber optic data communications to the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta
Avatar By Vertical Mag | October 29, 2020

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 27 seconds.

Slave Lake Helicopters Pilot Danny Ragan transfers powerline technicians. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo
Slave Lake Helicopters Pilot Danny Ragan transfers powerline technicians from the company’s AS350 using the AStep platform. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

In September 2020, Slave Lake Helicopters was part of a team that brought high-speed fiber optic data communications to the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta — a remote community of 4,600 people located 460 miles (750 kilometers) north of Edmonton. This infrastructure improvement project was supported by the Government of Canada and led by the Arrow Technology Group, along with a skilled team from ATCO Electric, Alberta’s utility provider.

Slave Lake Helicopters pilot Aaron Roos long lines the SkyWrap cable spinning machine to powerline technicians. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

To reach the community of Fox Lake, the fiber line’s route took it over the Peace River, piggybacking on ATCO Electric’s high-voltage transmission lines. The fiber cable was pulled to the top of a power tower, then across the river. Powerline technicians on five towers, including one on an island in the middle of the river, strung and secured the new fiber line.

The SkyWrap cable works its way along the powerline. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo
The SkyWrap cable works its way along the powerline. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

AFL, a company specializing in fiber optic cables, deployed its self-powered SkyWrap cable spinning machine to wrap the fiber cable around the high-voltage transmission line between the towers.

Slave Lake Helicopters had two AS350 B2s working on the project. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo
Slave Lake Helicopters had two AS350 B2s working on the project. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

Of the two AStars Slave Lake Helicopters had working on the project, one was used to long line gear, and the other, equipped with Slave Lake Helicopter’s AStep, flew powerline technicians to the tops of the towers.

The AStep platform is mounted on the right side of the Airbus A350 B2, and a counterweight runs under the helicopter’s framework. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo
The AStep platform is mounted on the right side of the Airbus A350 B2, and a counterweight runs under the helicopter’s framework. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

The AStep is a custom-designed platform that enhances safety during personnel transfers from a helicopter to the top of a transmission tower.

Powerline technicians attach the SkyWrap to the powerline to take the fiber optic cable across the Peace River. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo
Powerline technicians attach the SkyWrap to the powerline to take the fiber optic cable across the Peace River. Slave Lake Helicopters Photo

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