Northwest Helicopters LLC -One of a Kind Business Centered in Tumwater
By Jessica Hoppe
Sometimes you really do not know what is right in your own backyard. I would have never guessed that just a couple of miles from my house is a business which ships million dollar helicopters all over the world. But just south of the Olympia Airport one can find Northwest Helicopters LLC, a much bigger operation than I ever imagined. Pulling up, I immediately notice the vintage Hueys on the lawn and the posted security signs. I have always wondered why I hear helicopters flying over my house so regularly, and today I am finally going to find out the answer.
Aviation memorabilia decorates the foyer of the impressive building, and I am immediately drawn to a picture of Amelia Earhart. Walking into the office of owner Brian Reynolds, I cannot help but notice…
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New Life for an Old Warrior
Located in Washington state’s capital city of Olympia is a small helicopter maintenance organization that has carved a niche by bringing old Bell Helicopter airframes back to life for their next chapter in the book of aviation. Everyone in the business of flying and working on helicopters is aware of the most iconic and famous helicopter, the Bell Huey (officially known as the UH-1 Iroquois), which was built in the 1960s and early 1970s for U.S. Army use in the Vietnam War. Northwest Helicopters LLC brings this war veteran back to life as it continues to breathe a new future for commercial and military customers around the world. I recently had the opportunity to interview Brian Reynolds, owner and CEO of Northwest Helicopters.
Helicopter Maintenance – Hello, Brian. What made you decide to locate in Olympia?
Reynolds – We chose to locate in Olympia as it’s a great location. We are close to both air and sea ports, and this area is strong on aviation maintenance and manufacturing.
Helicopter Maintenance – How long have you been in business?
Reynolds – We have been in business since the late 1970s. I came on board in 1984 and worked for the company as a pilot. In 1985, I had the opportunity to purchase the company — and I did.
Helicopter Maintenance – How many employees do you have?
Reynolds – We currently have 49 employees. We also use contract employees as needed. This allows us to spool up fast if the need arises.
Helicopter Maintenance – We know that your specialty is working on Bell UH-1 Hueys. What do you do to them?
Reynolds – We specialize in the entire refurbishment of the aircraft. We take old, tired, retired former military helicopters and…
For the complete article, please visit the Helicopter Maintenance Magazine web site by clicking THIS LINK.