Dallas White - Remote Helicopters
Dallas White’s dream of flying is now a reality as he pilots helicopters for Remote Helicopters out of Slave Lake in Alberta, Canada. Fortunate to be part of a family-owned business, Dallas has had the opportunity to be exposed to Red Hen Systems (RHS) products that have made his work life easier.
Dallas White served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry for 4 years. Although he served on the ground, he always dreamed of flying. So when he finished his terms of service, he decided to attend flight school in British Columbia. Upon graduation, he applied at Remote Helicopters in Alberta, and has been working there ever since, flying the skies over North America.
In today’s world of corporate mergers and giant corporations, Dallas finds Remote Helicopters to be unique — it’s a family-owned business, operating out of Slave Lake, Alberta. Established in 1984, it has a friendly, smallcompany feel, but a big-company reach with its fleet of 12 helicopters. Remote Helicopters serves a broad spectrum of industries in Canada, such as forestry, gas and oil, construction, mining, and forestry management. With infrared and plain view cameras, the helicopters can detect fires, assist in search and rescue, perform surveillance, and work with power line inspections. With the belly-mounted laser, they can perform aerial corridor surveys of oil/gas pipelines to detect low levels of methane from a distance.
Although Remote Helicopters could collect vast amounts of infrared and plain view video, along with gas data, but they did not have an easy way to identify the geographic locations of all that information. Remote Helicopters had to use a GPS receiver while they were videotaping, then manually review the track log, cross-reference the track log locations with the video frames, and mark the locations on the map. The process was time-consuming and difficult, even for short videos.
Then Remote Helicopters was tasked with videotaping more than 1,800 nautical miles of pipeline (30+ hours of video) to produce an inspection report for compliance purposes for a large gas company. There was no way they could follow their manual process to determine locations for all those miles of pipeline. And without the location information, they would be unable to generate the required inspection report. What they needed was some way to automatically geotag their videos with location information. And that’s where the RHS came in!
The RHS VMS-333 provided a way to automatically geotag miles of video footage. Remote Helicopters was able to connect the VMS-333 to both their plain view FLIR camera and the laptop running the Boreal Gas Finder laser software. The connections were simple and the plugs were clearly labeled. Once connected, the VMS-333 automatically geotagged the video and the gas information as it was collected. The geo-tagged data included video, track log, and gas concentrations in parts per million.
All Remote Helicopters has to do is send the geotagged files to Red Hen for processing and receive exactly what their customer wants for an up-to-date and accurate inspection report! The processed data (both the video and the track log) arrives in a timely fashion and is easy to share – the pilot puts the data on a USB drive and provides it to the client. The client has RHS IsWhere software installed, which allows them to open the video and watch it, while viewing the track (flight path) on Google Earth. The client can easily tell where each frame of the video was filmed, and note anomalies on the pipeline.
Furthermore, with the Pipeline Leak Detection Kit, BOREAL Gas Finder data integrated into the video, the client can identify gas concentrations on the map. As a result, their client’s inspection report is much more complete and better meets compliance requirements. Best of all, Remote helicopters now have a competitive edge over other helicopter firms by using the VMS-333. Like Dallas says, “VMS-333 is fast, efficient, and amazingly accurate.”