Paranoid residents in the Hudson Valley aren't imagining things. There really are blac helicopters following us this week.

You may have noticed these low-flying helicopters hovering over various areas of the Hudson Valley. If you haven't seen them flying just overhead, you've probably heard them hovering and flying in tight circles over certain areas of the Hudson Valley.

We've had several reports of these helicopters spotted in highly populated areas as well as quiet neighborhoods. Some residents have called the loud helicopters an annoyance while others worry that something sinister or dangerous could possibly be going on.


The good news is that these helicopters are most likely not spying on you or tracking your whereabouts. There are actually some very good reasons why they are flying so low and buzzing through neighborhoods.

Most likely, these helicopters are being used to survey damage from the last storm near powerlines and other utilities. Central Hudson says that they send out helicopters four times each year to "monitor vegetation and the condition of (their) infrastructure." Orange & Rockland has also been known to employ low-flying helicopters for the same reason.

While the power companies generally alert local authorities and 911 services about their flight patterns, there isn't usually a public announcement made about the inspections. This can occasionally lead some residents to become concerned. In the past, some local police departments have received calls about these low-flying helicopters from residents who had no idea what was going on.

Another pretty cool use of these helicopters is to quickly remove tree limbs and vegetation near hard-to-reach power lines. The aircraft is equipped with a long blade that is lowered by a rope to make quick work of the overgrown trees. These tree-trimming helicopters are employed in areas that are inaccessible to regular maintenance crews.

Have you seen these low-flying helicopters over your neighborhood recently? Were you concerned about their presence, or did you find them fascinating to watch?

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