Restructured Enstrom celebrates first year of operation
May 24, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
Approximately one year ago, on May 13, 2022, Chuck Surack, founder of Surack Enterprises, announced the purchase of Enstrom Helicopter Corporation in Menominee, Michigan. To celebrate the anniversary of Surack’s acquisition, Enstrom released a statement about the milestone as its team works to rebuild the company into a top industry brand.
“The factory is buzzing with excitement not felt in many years,” said Dennis Martin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Enstrom. “There is no doubt that Enstrom is back and better than ever.”
Enstrom explains it was able to rehire dozens of former employees as engineers, product planners, administrators and shipping personnel, among other key roles, allowing it to restart operations quickly. Enstrom’s workforce today holds more than 125 employees at its facility in Menominee, Michigan.
The first international sales representative to sign with the new Enstrom was Aero Facility Co, Ltd. in Japan. Aero Facility was a long-time representative of the previous Enstrom and supports the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s fleet of 30 TH-480B training helicopters. Enstrom also welcomed Adam Richardson as Chief Operating Officer last fall to help oversee day-to-day business operations.
In the first months following Surack’s acquisition, Enstrom had been manufacturing parts under its Type Certificate authority with approval from the FAA. Then in late 2022, six months separated from its reopening, Enstrom received a FAA Production Certificate, allowed it to start approving parts under normal processes.
The first new 480B helicopter built since Surack’s acquisition took flight in January 2023 with HAI HELI-EXPO just weeks away. At HELI-EXPO 2023 in Atlanta, Enstrom showcased this newly built helicopter, debuting the model’s all-glass instrument panels. These panels will be available on all Enstrom helicopters built in 2023.
Enstrom also unveiled its development of a new RPM governor for the piston-powered 280FX and F28F. The company sold a dozen helicopters during HELI-EXPO.
In April 2023, Enstrom announced leader Matt Francour would retire from the company after nearly four decades, passing the President title to Todd Tetzlaff.
“When I look to what this next year will bring, I see a future that’s bright,” said Tetzlaff. “I’m so proud of everyone here, and I’m excited about what we’re going to do together.”
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