Columbia Helicopters, October 02, 2015 - Columbia Helicopters is pleased to announce the completion of an extensive military maintenance contract that delivered three Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF).
The final aircraft was handed over to the RMAF at military base near Rabat, Morocco in late August.
The refurbishment work was completed at Columbia’s approved facility in Aurora, and the aircraft were shipped to Morocco, where Columbia’s crew reassembled the aircraft and conducted post-maintenance test flights.
“We are pleased to have successfully completed this project,” said company president, Jim Rankin. “Our military maintenance crews did an outstanding job bringing these aircraft back to a nearly-new state, and I’m confident the Royal Moroccan Air Force will be completely satisfied with these aircraft.”
Columbia had received the three aircraft last November under a U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) project that sold the former U.S. Army aircraft to Morocco.
Part of the contract called for refurbishment of the helicopters, which was conducted at Columbia Helicopters’ separate, secure military maintenance hangar that is still a part of the company’s FAA-licensed Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility.
“We really went over these helicopters from top to bottom,” said Paul Leach, Director of Military Maintenance for Columbia Helicopters. “Our team inspected the airframe and every part and component of these three helicopters. Then they started repairing, overhauling or replacing any of the parts or components as required.”
Part of the refurbishment process also included repainting the aircraft in Morocco’s desert camouflage pattern, and adding their military crests, flags and registration information.
“Our crews just finished putting the three Chinooks into flight-ready status, which we then presented to their military leaders,” added Leach. “The crews did a great job in Oregon and in Morocco. The aircraft we presented to the RMAF looked just like brand new helicopters.”
Columbia Helicopters had received the refurbishment contract based on the company’s qualifications and past performance of other work on military helicopters.
“Our company has operated commercial Chinook helicopters since the 1980s,” said Santiago Crespo, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Columbia Helicopters. “Consequently, our facility is designed to work on these types of helicopters and our crews are among the best in the world at maintaining them. We do expect that this project for Morocco could lead to more work for the company in the future.”
Columbia Helicopters is the world leader in heavy-lift helicopter operations. The company owns and operates Columbia Model 234 Chinooks, Boeing CH-47D Chinooks, and Columbia Vertol 107-II helicopters at locations around the world. The company’s headquarters and MRO facility are located at Wes Lematta Field at the Aurora State Airport, near Portland, Oregon.