October 2019, Vol. 246, No. 10

Drones & Pipelines

Drones on Deck to Make Pipeline Inspections Safer, More Efficient

By Molly Livingston There are an estimated 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines throughout the United States – that’s enough to circle the earth about 100 times. Ensuring every mile of these lines is safe and meets industry standards is paramount in order to protect the public.  A drone used during the Alaska flight. (Photo: Iris Automation) Often, the task of inspecting the lines is handled by pilots flying small, single-engine aircraft such as Cessna propeller planes. Monitoring these lines from the air is the most effective option, but it’s also expensive, time-consuming and oftentimes risky for pilots who must fly small pla

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