Surack Enterprises aims to strike the right note with Enstrom acquisition


The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has been acquired by music entrepreneur Chuck Surack, founder of the online music retailer Surack Enterprises, for an undisclosed sum.

Surack pledged to “rebuild the Enstrom brand into one of the leading American-made helicopter manufacturers, as it once was”.

The first priority will be to continue supporting pilots who already own an Enstrom helicopter by providing parts and support, he said. The company also planned to start building helicopters again and is planning to improve and update the Enstrom helicopter fleet.

Based in Menominee, Michigan, Enstrom joins Surack Enterprises portfolio of aviation-related businesses including Sweet Aviation, which provides charter flights, training, and rental for fixed-wing aircraft and Sweet Helicopters, which offers the same services for rotorcraft. (Sweet Helicopters is the official helicopter services provider of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Surack’s aviation portfolio also includes Aviation Specialty Insurance, which insures corporations, light aircraft, flight schools, drones, UAVs and others.

Matt Francour, president & CEO of Enstrom said earlier this year it looked as if MidTex Aviation would step in and buy Enstrom. “But when they had unexpected problems securing the funding, Chuck was able to step in and save the company, which ended a lot of sleepless nights here for us in Michigan,” he added. Francour noted Surack’s history with Enstrom dates to 2008 when he learned to fly helicopters. He also bought a new Enstrom 480B before qualifying for his pilot’s licence. The transaction was made with the help of law firms Carson LLP and Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, the trustee’s attorney.

Enstrom declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January this year. In March, MidTex Aviation revealed plans to buy the assets of The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation and to reopen its factory.

Meanwhile, Surack founded Sweetwater Sound, a leading online retailer of music instruments and professional audio equipment. Launched from the back of his Volkswagen bus, Surack has grown the venture into a $1.5bn business.

Chuck Surack praised Enstrom’s employees for “their devotion and dedication over the years and particularly the last few difficult months” .