Unlocking Innovation in Aerospace for 50 Years and Counting

Erickson Inc. is world-renowned for service, commitment, and experience

Erickson Incorporated was started in 1971 by Jack Erickson. He envisioned aerial removal of heavy logs by helicopter from mountaintops – which lessens environmental impact by creating fewer roads with heavy equipment.

This vision led Jack Erickson to purchase a Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe, nicknamed the Skycrane, and start Erickson Incorporated, formerly known as Erickson Air-Crane.

Soon, Erickson found that there were other applications for heavy-lift helicopters in powerline construction and HVAC lifting. Later, because of the ability to add water tanks to the helicopter, and Erickson’s purchase of the type certificate for the Skycrane, then renamed as the S-64 Air Crane® Helicopter, aerial firefighting came into play.

Today, Erickson Incorporated, and its nearly 800 employees, have continued with service-based civil projects like timber harvesting, aerial firefighting, powerline construction, and HVAC.

Purchase of type certificates enables manufacturing and maintenance

Two type certificate purchases created an opportunity for the company. The purchase of type certificates from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Sikorsky and Bell means that Erickson can maintain, manufacture, and build components for new aircraft. Erickson owns the rights to modify the aircraft and support owners/operators.

  • In 1992, Erickson purchased the type certificate for the S-64 Air Crane® helicopter.
  • In 2020, Erickson purchased the type certificate for the Bell 214ST & B/B1 Helicopters.

Erickson is now the OEM for the following helicopters, S-64 Air Crane® helicopter – both E & F models, Bell 214ST and B/B1, and CH54 A&B.

Continued evolution

Erickson has evolved into an aerospace legacy that sits in a class of its own, as an operator and an OEM.

Additionally, the companies’ mettle is reinforced through sales of the S-64 for aerial firefighting around the globe. Erickson conducts aerial firefighting operations on five continents with a commitment to its customers and communities to save lives and property.

Company attributes today

  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and type certificate holder for the S-64 E & F Air Crane® helicopter
  • Type certificate holder, and parts manufacturer, for the Bell 214ST and B/B1 helicopters
  • Maintenance and manufacture of parts for aerospace OEMs
  • Mission-critical support solutions for the Department of Defense
  • Full research and development innovation lab

Erickson offers various products and services unmatched by even direct competitors. Erickson’s diverse fleet ranges from medium to heavy-lift helicopters offering multi-mission support to customers worldwide. Beyond projects in defense and national security, civil aviation, Aerosystems manufacturing and MRO, the Erickson team demonstrates grit and commitment to all missions. Their stories illustrate where Erickson is today and the direction it is heading in the future. Erickson is prepared to tackle any mission with its talented team and diverse fleet.

Employee Viewpoints

“When you do the type of work, I do, you are dedicated. You have to give up a lot to do this work, but it is worth it for the missions that you do.”

James (Jim) Strobel, Pilot from blog post, High Adventure View from Above

“I have been proud to be a part of the great Erickson family and company for 21 years! The Erickson family and company have always been great and helpful to me. I have never felt let down or alone during my time as an employee.”

Hubie Heuberger, Pilot from blog post, Erickson Employees Honored

“Mission first, people always! I just try to take care of my guys and make sure that we can meet our mission needs daily. Service before self and excellence in all we do.”

Alan Holmes, Lead Mechanic from blog post, Erickson Employees Honored

“The best part of the job is that it’s non-typical when people ask me what I do and where I work. I love the look on their face when I tell them I work on a big orange helicopter in Greece, Australia, or wherever.”

Jim Day, Field Mechanic from blog post, Aviation Maintenance Technician Day (AMT)

“We help solve the world’s most pressing problems like taming devastating wildfires and bringing electricity to millions of people in underprivileged nations. Our mission is to improve lives and protect people who need our help. We do both every day.”

Jeffrey Baxter, Senior Director of Research and Product Development

In summary, a company’s success is in the commitment of its people. From Jack Erickson’s vision to bring helicopters into commercial heavy-lift aviation to the daily devotion of each employee to fulfill his/her vision, Erickson Inc., offers loyalty to its customers, communities, and industry far into the future. As we embark on the company’s 50th anniversary, we will continue to remember the Erickson legacy and work together to ensure the next 50 years are legendary.

Check out our corporate video to learn more about our 50 years of innovation.