The maintenance and logistics behind keeping big helicopters such as the tandem-rotor Columbia Helicopters 234 and the Erickson Aviation S-64 Air Crane flying can seem downright daunting.
Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
Erickson (Booth No. 6422) formally presented its 2012-2013 Gold Supplier Award Tuesday morning at Heli-Expo 2014 to TactAir Fluid Controls for its work supporting the hydraulic systems on the S-64 Aircrane. “We look for not just the lowest cost [from our suppliers], but also the best value as well. TactAir provides that best value for us,” said Jeff Stein, director of materials at Erickson. TactAir customer support manager John Koulikas added, “To be able to support this aircraft for many, many years has been a big thrill and achievement for us.”
Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.
The FAA is proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-64E (type certificate currently held by Erickson Air-Crane). It requires inspecting and reworking the main gearbox second-stage lower planetary plate.
Erickson Air-Crane has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 14 helicopters and associated personnel and assets from HRT Participacoes em Petroleo (HRT). The deal requires Erickson Air-Crane to provide operational services, including both cargo and passenger transport, to HRT in the Amazon under a three-year renewable contract. Erickson traditionally had focused its efforts on building, selling, servicing and operating heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes. Erickson CEO Udo Rieder said the agreement provides “an excellent path to diversification and growth.”
Erickson Air-Crane posted a 10.9-percent drop to $37.9 million in second-quarter revenue from the same period in 2011, but said it still had a $228.1 million backlog. The company holds the TC for the S-64 Aircrane. It builds, services and sells the heavy-lift helicopter to third parties, and also operates its own fleet of 17. Erickson reported strong revenues from fire-fighting and construction activities but noted a drop-off in logging operations.