Safety & Training
Charging into retirement
Nov. 29, 2012, Arthur, Ont. - With a land mass of more than one million square kilometres and some of the most diverse terrain in the country, it’s an immense challenge for Ontario’s Hydro One team to keep the power coming to some 12 million residents on a daily basis.
By Matt Nicholls
The province boasts some of the most rugged terrain in the country and with both a 123,500 km circuit low voltage distribution system and a 28,951-circuit high voltage distribution system keeping the lights on in all weather situations can be taxing. The province uses a fleet of eight helicopters including six Eurocopter Astar B2 and B3 aircraft, and two Bell Longrangers to keep things humming. In the past, the fleet has included Alouette 11, Sikorsky 55, S58, Hughes 500C, and Super Puma machines for various tasks including crew deployment, pole setting, arm installations, thermovision, storm restoration, emergency patrols and more.
|Hydro One's Ron Densmore shares some insight with his team (Photo courtesy Hydro One).
Few helicopter pilots know the province better than Ron Densmore. The veteran Hydro One senior pilot from Arthur, Ont. knows virtually every nook and cranny in the province following a distinguished career of more than 41 years. With an incredible 19,400 flying hours over his career starting with a Bell 47 in the Arctic, Densmore finally called it quits on Oct. 31. To celebrate more than four decades of flying Bell product’s, Bell Helicopter sales manager Richard Airlie presented Densmore with a special certificate of recognition and a leather jacket, much to the delight of 70 Hydro One staff.
“From Calabogie to Kenora, Ron knows virtually all parts of this province,” Hydro One chief pilot John Bosomworth said. “And it’s a big responsibility. Ron has been flying Bell products for so long, he has an intimate understanding of the equipment.”
Helicopters are invaluable tools in the field and have proven themselves time and time again in ensuring power is supplied to key urban centres and key locations province wide. Densmore, who has also flown most of the aircraft in the fleet right up to today’s technologically advanced AStars, and learned to adapt and keep pace with multiple changes in procedure both in and out of the cockpit, proving to be a galvanizing force for an organization that expects the utmost safety and professionalism from all pilots.
“In a lot of ways, there weren’t a lot of rules back then,” Bosomworth notes of the earlier stages of Densmore’s career, a time when certain procedures and processes were not not part of the equation. “You did what you had to do to get the job done. Ron always had create ways to get solve problems.”
Helicopters magazine salutes Densmore and wishes him luck in the months and years ahead.