In 1971, Erickson Lumber Company, owned by second-generation logger and entrepreneur Jack Erickson, leased an S-64E Skycrane helicopter from Sikorsky Aircraft and renamed the company Erickson Air-Crane™.
At that time, many small operations around the world were experimenting with helicopter logging with little success due to the high cost of supporting the aerial operation. Mr. Erickson realized the specialized nature of the S-64, and used his years of experience in the logging industry to optimize the heavy-lift helicopter for timber harvesting. His system proved profitable, leading to the purchase of the first S-64 in 1972, followed by the purchase of three more aircraft later that year. Erickson eventually purchased the S-64 Type Certificate from Sikorsky in 1992 and continues to manufacture and maintain the aircraft, since renamed as the Aircrane, from its facility in southern Oregon.
Erickson has innovated aerial service capabilities over the years, broadening the timber harvesting capabilities of the S-64 and expanding into firefighting, infrastructure support, powerline construction, oil and gas exploration, and the transport of people and product.
Erickson has continued to demonstrate agility, reliability, and precision while working on challenging and noteworthy projects:
Growing Through Acquisitions
In 2013, Erickson acquired McMinnville, Oregon-based Evergreen Helicopters and Brazilian oil and gas company Air Amazonia, a subsidiary of HRT.
Now operating as Erickson subsidiaries Erickson Helicopters and Erickson Transport, Evergreen has been a pioneer in aviation since 1960, flying their fleet of helicopters for customers in a diverse range of industries, including construction and heavy lift, disaster relief, forestry, government, law enforcement, military logistics, search and rescue, and other critical tasks. These Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB)-approved helicopters and fixed wing aircraft operate from a global network of bases, performing demanding work in some of the most austere and remote environments in the world, including the heat and elevation of Afghanistan, isolated islands of the Southern Philippines, and the most inaccessible parts of the African continent.
Air Amazonia, formerly the aviation services division of HRT Participações em Petróleo S.A., is an established South American operator. This strategic acquisition further broadens Erickson’s rapidly expanding global footprint. In conjunction with the acquisition of Air Amazonia, Erickson entered into a five-year aerial services contract (including annual renewal options) with HRT to provide rotary-wing aircraft services to support their oil and gas activities in the Solimoes region of Brazil, strengthening Erickson’s position as a key partner for a growing number of customers throughout this important and fast growing region for the oil and gas industry.
These acquisitions helped significantly expand the depth and breadth of services Erickson is able to provide to customers both in the United States and internationally.
Erickson now boasts a fleet of nearly 100 aircraft, and offers services, training, and support in many industries, including firefighting, construction, timber harvesting, crewing, oil and gas exploration, manufacturing, passenger and cargo transport, support of defense operations, MEDEVAC, and more.