Enstrom Helicopter declares Chapter 7 bankruptcy


Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is to close on January 21st, 2022 after declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy following “several financial difficulties”.

The closure, after 64 years of near continuous operations, marks “the end of a storied helicopter brand”, according to the company. Enstrom delivered its final helicopters, a pair for 280FX’s for the Peru Air Force, in December 2021.

The company stopped taking new parts orders and supplying overhauls on January 7th 2022. Technical support ended yesterday (January 19th). Michigan law firm Butzel & Long is handling the bankruptcy proceedings.

The manufacturer’s director of Sales & Marketing, Dennis Martin said: “We’ve built more than 1,300 helicopters, operated in over 50 countries around the world. Millions of hours flown, tens of thousands of pilots trained, think of all the lives these aircraft have touched. It’s an incredible legacy.”  Martin went on to thank the people of Northern Michigan and Wisconsin who helped start the company and the company’s employees. (Pictured is Enstrom’s current team).

The OEM’s president Matt Francour also praised the workforce. “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,”  he said.

A number of groups have already expressed interest in buying Enstrom’s assets out of bankruptcy and restarting the company, said Francour. “I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but I have a feeling we’ll be back.”

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation – at a glance

  • Closing doors on January 21st, 2022, after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Wholly-owned subsidiary of Chongqing General Aviation Industry Group Co
  • Founded in 1959 to design and produce light single-engine helicopters for the global market
  • Missions include: helicopter training, police and wildlife patrol, aerial photography, tours, ag spray and livestock management and personal transport
  • 64 years of near continuous operations
  • “Millions of hours flown and tens of thousands of pilots trained”
  • Built more than 1,300 helicopters
  • Operated in over 50 countries worldwide.