Closure of Menominee’s Enstrom Helicopter, filing for bankruptcy

MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) – Enstrom Helicopter Corp. announced Wednesday that after 64 years of near-continuous operations, Enstrom will close on Friday.

Due to several financial difficulties, the owners of Enstrom have ordered the company to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The closure marks the end of a legendary helicopter brand, a company press release said. .

“We have built over 1,300 helicopters, operating in more than 50 countries around the world,” said Enstrom Sales and Marketing Director 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 employees who have worked hard and made it work for all these years, should be proud of what we have achieved.

Enstrom says it has laid off about 125 employees over the past two years leading up to this announcement.

Enstrom delivered its last helicopters, a pair of 280FX for the Peruvian Air Force, in December 2021.

“I can’t say enough about the team of people we have here,” said Enstrom President Matt Francour. “They have continued to work throughout the pandemic and our financial difficulties to get the planes out and provide parts and technical support to our large in-service fleet. Their dedication to our customers is truly special.

As of January 7, Enstrom has stopped taking new parts orders and providing overhauls. Technical support will continue to be provided until January 19.

As noted in the company’s press release on Wednesday, Enstrom would like to thank all of its past and present employees, dealers, service centers and, most importantly, its customers. Butzel & Long Law Firm, located in Troy, MI, will handle the Iowa bankruptcy "}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":513,"3":{"1":0},"12":0}”>Iowa bankruptcy . Francour noted that several groups have already expressed interest in buying out Enstrom’s assets in the event of bankruptcy and restarting the business.

“I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but I have a feeling we’ll be back,” Fancour said.

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