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  Heli-Expo 2017

Columbia Helicopters Inc. Celebrating 60 Years of Service to the Rotorcraft Industry


Columbia Helicopters was founded on April 24, 1957, by Wes Lematta with a single Hiller 12B helicopter. Today is the world’s only commercial operator of the 234 Chinook and Boeing Vertol 107-II


  • Columbia Helicopters was founded on April 24, 1957, by Wes Lematta with a single Hiller 12B helicopter. Today is the world’s only commercial operator of the 234 Chinook and Boeing Vertol 107-II
  • Columbia Helicopters Inc. Celebrating 60 Years of Service to the Rotorcraft Industry


Columbia Helicopters, March 06, 2017 - Columbia Helicopters is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2017. Here are a few items of interest about one of the world’s most successful rotorcraft service and support companies:

Columbia Helicopters was founded on April 24, 1957, by Wes Lematta with a single Hiller 12B helicopter.

Over the past 60 years, Columbia Helicopters has been leading the way in heavy-lift helicopter operations for commercial and military customers, always working to expand its capabilities and improve its level of service both while flying important missions, and when providing critical maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) support.

Columbia Helicopters is a global provider of helicopter services in support of a range of missions, including firefighting, construction, logging, and oil and gas exploration.

The company recently installed and deployed two 2,800-gallon Fire Attack System (FAS) internal water tanks in two Boeing CH-47D Chinooks to provide more effective firefighting capabilities, and added NVIS capability to three of its Vertol 107-II helicopters
Columbia Helicopters offers world-class MRO services to customers, on site or on location, focusing on heavy helicopter airframes and engines.

More than 50 years of maintenance experience and continuous training programs and field support have made Columbia Helicopters a leader in maintaining heavy-lift helicopters. The company offers an on-site Level 3 Non-Destructive Testing facility and extensive parts inventory to provide a single stop for helicopter servicing from nose to tail. The company also prides itself on its industry-leading response times with on-location maintenance and repair requests, servicing some of the largest machines in varying environments around the world.

Columbia Helicopters recently earned its fifth consecutive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Employer Diamond Award of Excellence for its aviation maintenance technician (AMT) training program. The company has received the annual award 14 times in the past 21 years.

Columbia Helicopters is actively flying and supporting multiple helicopters in Afghanistan, carrying troops and cargo, supporting construction and other infrastructure programs. The company works closely with international military operators to field, fly and support those fleets.

Columbia Helicopters maintains a fleet of the most versatile helicopters in global operations from its full-service facility about 25 miles from Portland in northwest Oregon.

Columbia Helicopters is the world’s only commercial operator of the Columbia 234 Chinook and Columbia Vertol 107-II helicopters. These aircraft are the commercial models of the highly regarded Boeing CH-47 Chinook and Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight. The company also is a commercial operator of Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

Columbia Helicopters representatives will be available at HAI HELI-EXPO to discuss the company’s rich history and exciting plans for the future. Company experts will be at the Columbia Helicopter display, Booth 6111, and in Static Exhibit 7, where one of the company’s two Boeing CH-47Ds equipped with the world’s largest helicopter Fire Attack System (FAS) internal water tanks will be on display.


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