Interview with Erickson’s Sam Foster

AirMed&Rescue spoke with Sam Foster, Manufacturing Manager at Erickson about legacy, innovation, and confidence developed through a focus around sustainability

September 30, 2022

You have a deep history in making older assets relative; what knowledge, capability and experience does Erickson possess in legacy fleet sustainment?

After 50 years of operating the S-64 platform, Erickson is tried and true out of necessity. To me, sustainment is a company-wide mindset focused on meeting the needs of our internal teams and our external customers. Sustainability includes all the company’s resources, key industry partnerships, and a crucial supply chain.

Erickson holds a diverse mix of experienced skillsets including maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO); manufacturing; engineering; quality assurance; asset planning; procurement; warehousing/logistics; technical publications; training; safety; and many other supporting roles.

Fleet planning must be carefully choreographed, we have talented teams studying, anticipating, and planning those activities many years in advance. Erickson is proven in its sustainment of our flagship S-64 platform, and we are applying that same experience and capability to other programs.

Innovation is clearly key; how will Erickson take the legacy forward to continue to provide turnkey solutions?

Erickson must remain relevant and competitive in our industry, we must improve our processes, and we must bridge the gap in asset shortages and obsolete parts. For example, several years ago the Erickson team worked to develop the composite main rotor blade (CMRB) for the S-64. 

This project aimed to solve an eventual problem for impending retirement of the metallic blades, but the result also significantly improved the aircraft’s performance. The CMRB project reflects a high level of complexity we are all proud of, and it speaks volumes that the company is willing to reinvest in their flagship platform. Projects like this give our teams valuable experience and greater confidence to pursue worthy endeavors in the future, and the industry is taking notice of our innovations.

Read the full interview from AirMed&Rescue: