Erickson began operating the S-64 in 1971, leasing three Skycrane from Sikorsky Aircraft and using it to revolutionize the aerial harvesting of timber. By 1992, with a full fleet of S-64s moving towards obsolescence, along with, inadequate S-64 support and failing supply chains, complicated pilot workload, occasionally obsolete analog instruments, restricted use as a construction platform, frequency of in-flight engine shutdown, and dangers associated with nighttime firefighting missions, Erickson realized it needed to gain control of the aircraft's future.

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Erickson realized it needed to gain control of the aircraft’s future and purchased the Type Certificate from Sikorsky, starting on its path to becoming one of the world’s leading specialists in legacy helicopter support. Erickson also reinvented the supply chain and achieved economies of scales through optimized supply sources & new supplier agreements, enhanced supportability and reliability of systems, development of large scale in-house manufacturing capability to produce complex and scarce parts, and made 4,000 modifications to S-64.



Modifications made to the S-64


Reduced frequency of in-flight engine shutdown


OEM for the S-64 Helicopter