Low-flying helicopters to conduct patrols in Southeast Michigan Friday

Metro Detroit residents can expect to see low-flying helicopters cruising through their airspace over the next few days.

Patrols will be contracted by ITC, a Novi-based firm for the purpose of aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines in Michigan. The company has been doing inspections all around the state as part of a requirement by the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation.

The company said in a news release earlier in the summer it would be looking at monopoles, steel towers, wood poles, wires, insulators, and other equipment that keeps the region's electrical infrastructure up and running.

Patrols will specifically be looking for damaged equipment or vegetation hazards. The flights need to be low to the ground, so inspectors can see any evidence of lightning damage or other potential problems.

"This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines," read the news release

Crews have already flown over much of the Lower Peninsula, starting in September. They've visited much of mid-Michigan this week and will patrol Southeast Michigan counties next week, including Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne.

ITC operates electrical infrastructure across much of the U.S., including in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, according to its website.