Menominee’s Enstrom Helicopter closing, filing for bankruptcy
MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Enstrom Helicopter Corp. announced Wednesday that after 64 years of near-continuous operations, Enstrom will be closing its doors on Friday.
Due to several financial difficulties, Enstrom’s owners have directed the company to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The closure marks the end of a storied helicopter brand, said a press release from the corporation.
“We’ve built more than 1300 helicopters, operated in over 50 countries around the world,” said Enstrom’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Dennis Martin. “Millions of hours flown, tens of thousands of pilots trained, think of all the lives these aircraft have touched. It’s an incredible legacy, and the people of Northern Michigan and Wisconsin who helped start the company, and especially the hard-working employees who kept it going all these years should be proud of what we accomplished.”
Enstrom says it has laid off about 125 employees over the last two years, leading up to this announcement.
Enstrom delivered its final helicopters, a pair of 280FX’s for the Peru Air Force, in December 2021.
“I can’t say enough about the team of people we have here,” said Enstrom’s President, Matt Francour. “They’ve continued to work throughout the pandemic and our financial difficulties to get aircraft out the door and supply parts and technical support to our large in-service fleet. Their dedication to our customers is truly special.”
As of Jan. 7, Enstrom has ceased taking new parts orders and supplying overhauls. Technical support will continue to be provided through Jan. 19.
As stated in the corporation’s press release Wednesday, Enstrom wishes to thank all of its past and present employees, dealers, service centers, and most importantly customers. Butzel & Long Law Firm, located in Troy, MI, will be handling the bankruptcy. Francour noted that multiple groups have already expressed interest in buying Enstrom’s assets out of bankruptcy and restarting the company.
“I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but I have a feeling we’ll be back,” said Fancour.
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