A couple years ago we watched as, off in the distance, a helicopter carefully followed high-voltage transmission lines, with a long object suspended from an equally long cable. The ‘copter’s back and forth flights mystified us then, but we’d forgotten about it until last weekend when, once again, we began to feel the vibration of approaching helicopter rotors beating the air. Looking south, flying along the power lines that march across and along a neighboring ridge was the Hughes helicopter, again trailing its long payload.

Our mystery was solved this weekend. On the way back from a Thanksgiving in Memphis, traffic was halted on U.S 70. Yards away was the helicopter, with its long tail, slowly moving parallel to the power lines flanking the highway. We were so close we could finally see its payload — a long string of circular saw blades. The Aerial Solutions helicopter and its skilled pilot were performing sky-based hedge trimming for Entergy, a power company that serves Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

[Movie fans may recall that an aerial saw was used for a more sinister purpose in Bond movie: “The World is Not Enough.”  Bond escapes, but the whirling blades separate his gorgeous BMW Z8 into halves.]

END OF THE DAY --Tree-trimming helicopter races the sun to finish cleaning power line rights-of-way in western Pulaski County.
MAKING THE CUT -- Shot showing the helicopter moving its saw to another location.
STAYING IN TRIM -- The flying saw plies its trade along U.S. 70 in eastern Arkansas.
FLARES -- Gratuitous shot into the sun featuring flares.
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