Helicopter Specialties, Inc., located on Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Rock County, is poised for expansion in 2010. The companyâ€™s president Jim Freeman credits his companyâ€™s success on its commitment to delivering a quality product that keeps his customers coming back.
Helicopter Specialties performs maintenance and custom work on helicopters, with an emphasis on customizing air medical helicopters. In 2009 the Milwaukee Flight for Life program selected Helicopter Specialties to perform air medical completions on two brand new American Eurocopter EC145 twin engine helicopters. â€œI launched the company ten years ago when the Milwaukee program asked me to transform two older BK117 helicopters into medical helicopters for themâ€, said Jim Freeman, â€œThese aircraft completed in 2009 for Milwaukee Flight for Life really brought everything full circle for me and our company. We were very pleased to be entrusted with their new helicopters, but I strongly believe the success of our company has come from building trust with customers like Flight for Life by continually giving them a quality product, delivered on time.â€
Helicopter Specialties fills a hole in a niche market that was left when Omniflight Helicopter moved their operations in the â€˜90s from Janesville to Texas. Jim Freeman was among the many Omniflight employees that chose to stay in the area instead of transferring to Texas. It took a few years for the new company to come together, but Freeman was able to utilize the talented mechanics and craftsmen that still lived in the area when Helicopter Specialties got its start in the summer of 2000. After the original Milwaukee contract, another helicopter project soon followed and the company quickly outgrew their tiny hangar on the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport. The company has continued to grow steadily over the years, adding skilled craftsmen and mechanics and also offering entry level opportunities to graduates of Blackhawk Technical Collegeâ€™s Airframe & Powerplant program. In 2009 Helicopter Specialties again outgrew their current hangar and broke ground on a new 28,125 square foot facility, spending $1.6 million to more than double its operation. The new hangar is expected to be ready in 2nd quarter of 2010.
The company currently has 19 employees that perform custom work and maintenance on helicopters that come to Rock County from all over North America. They work on all major helicopters brands including Bell, American Eurocopter, Robinson, Enstrom, Agusta and MD Helicopters. While a large portion of their business is air medical helicopters, they also work on fire & rescue, law enforcement, utility, corporate and private helicopters. Helicopter Specialtiesâ€™ services include custom completions, maintenance, avionics and airframe electrical installations, custom laser wire marking, structural repair, aircraft paint, export/import services, pre-purchase, appraisal and brokerage services.
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