LIMA — Anyone who may have seen a low-flying plane overhead this week, particularly in south Lima, need not be concerned.
It’s not a National Security Agency drone conducting covert surveillance on Lima.
The plane could very well be another type of surveillance plane, however.
Allen County Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Director Russ Decker said the local pipeline companies use planes to look for problems with pipelines from the sky. Anomalies such as dead vegetation or a spot cleared in the snow could be signs of a leak, he said.
The Lima Police Department and The Lima News received calls inquiring about a low-flying plane near south Lima this week.
There are at least seven companies that own various pipelines in the area connected to the refinery. All contract to have a pilot fly overhead, possibly with a camera, to inspect and document problems, Decker said.
Decker also said there’s another possibility, if someone saw a plane. The airport is just a few miles away and planes often fly over the refinery on the approach to the runway to the airport east of town. Sometimes planes are low enough to generate calls, he said.
Decker urges anyone with concerns to get the registration number off the plane, which usually starts with an “N” and is on the tail of the plane. That can be called into local law enforcement to check on the plane and what the pilot was doing, he said.