Erickson Inc.

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Erickson Incorporated
FormerlyErickson Air-Crane
FoundedCentral Point, Oregon, United States (1971 (1971))
FounderJack Erickson
United States of America
Number of locations
8 facilities (2014)
Key people
Barry Kohler, CEO
ProductsHelicopter manufacturer and operator
ServicesManufacturer and operator of the S-64 Air Crane(R) Helicopter

Erickson Incorporated is an American aerospace manufacturing and aviation service provider based in Portland, Oregon, United States.[1] Founded in 1971, it is known for producing and operating the S-64 Aircrane helicopter, which is used in aerial firefighting and other heavy-lift operations. Erickson Incorporated operates globally and has a fleet of 69 rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft including 20 S-64s.[2] The company was known as Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated until 2014. Erickson's main facility is located in the Southern Oregon community of Central Point.


In 1969, Jack Erickson leased a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter from Wes Lematta of Columbia Helicopters to test the effectiveness of helicopters for logging.[3] Following this test Erickson realized he would need a larger helicopter. He purchased three S-64 Skycranes from Sikorsky Aircraft and founded Erickson Air-Crane in December 1971.[4] He quickly expanded the business to include power line construction and firefighting. In 1973, Erickson began using Aircranes to replace HVAC units on top of high-rises.[4] The following year Erickson invented the anti-rotation device which stabilizes loads and provided for great performance and agility. This new technology allowed the company to begin building power line towers.[4]

S-64E Erickson Air-Crane photographed at Ioannina airport, Greece

In 1992, Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certification and manufacturing rights for the S-64 from Sikorsky.[4] Since that time, Erickson Air-Crane has become the manufacturer and world's largest operator of S-64 Aircranes and has made over 1,350 improvements to the airframe, instrumentation, and payload capabilities of the helicopter.

In 2007, Erickson was sold to ZM Private Equity Fund, who in 2009 moved the company's headquarters to Portland. Then a privately held company, Erickson announced plans to go public in 2010,[5][6] which was delayed into 2012.[7] On April 11, 2012, the company completed an initial public offering and began trading on the NASDAQ market, with ZM Private Equity Fund retaining ownership of 63% of the company.[8] The company acquired Evergreen International Aviation's helicopter unit for $250 million in March 2013.[9] Erickson then bought Brazil-based HRT Participações em Petroleo's oil and gas unit, with the deal expected to be finalized in 2013.[10][11]

Erickson Aircrane used for firefighting operations primarily in Western Australia

The name of the company was changed to Erickson Inc. in February 2014.[12] The following year the company reorganized into three business units: Commercial Aviation Services, Government Aviation Services, and Manufacturing and MRO.[4]

The Evergreen purchase was financed partly with debt, and (together with challenging business conditions) caused Erickson to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2016 to reorganize while keeping the business running.[13] During bankruptcy the company returned to private ownership and emerged from bankruptcy protection in May 2017.[14]

Erickson appointed government services veteran Doug Kitani as CEO and Director August 31, 2017. He was previously CEO and director of government services firm IAP Worldwide Services. He has also worked in private investment and general management for Honeywell and General Electric.[15][16][17]


The company owns Erickson Air-Crane Admin Offices Heliport (FAA LID: OG58), a private, 130 x 130 ft. (40 x 40 m) heliport.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Erickson Incorporated". Erickson. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Erickson About". Erickson. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  3. ^ Gill, Holly (August 24, 2018). "Jack Erickson builds extraordinary life around two passions: aircraft and logging". The Madras Pioneer. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Erickson Incorporated History". Erickson. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  5. ^ Siemers, Erik (January 30, 2012). "Erickson Air-Crane sets IPO price range of $13 to $15". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  6. ^ Siemers, Erik (February 3, 2012). "Report: Erickson Air-Crane IPO delayed". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  7. ^ Siemers, Erik (March 21, 2012). "Erickson Air-Crane, for second time, issues IPO price range". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Siemers, Erik (April 11, 2012). "IPO drought ends, Oregon yawns". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  9. ^ "Erickson Air-Crane Announces Definitive Purchase Agreement for Air Amazonia Aerial Services Business". July 22, 2013. Retrieved Feb 21, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Stevens, Suzanne (November 7, 2012). "Erickson Air-Crane to acquire oil and gas assets of HRT". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  11. ^ Stevens, Suzanne (March 7, 2013). "Erickson Air to pay up to $75M for HRT aerial services unit". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  12. ^ Kish, Matthew (February 26, 2014). "A new name for Erickson Air-Crane Inc". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Erickson Incorporated files Chapter 11". November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Manning, Jeff (May 16, 2017). "Leaner, privately held Erickson emerges from bankruptcy". Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Erickson Appoints New Chief Executive Officer". August 31, 2017.
  16. ^ Lynch, Kerry (September 5, 2017). "Erickson Hires Former IAP Chief as New CEO". Aviation International News.
  17. ^ Nicholas, Scott (September 1, 2017). "IAP, DynCorp Vet Doug Kitani Joins Erickson as CEO - GovCon Wire". GovCon Wire. Retrieved 2017-10-02.

External links[edit]