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01 Jul 2022, 19:34 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Enstrom
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2022, 20:48 
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EagleHerald Staff Writer

MENOMINEE—Enstrom Helicopter Corp. in Menominee plans to close its doors Friday, Jan. 21, and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, after a difficult three years, company President Matt Francour said Thursday in an exclusive interview with the EagleHerald.

“The industry has been down during COVID. We’ve basically just been trying to survive,” Francour said. He confirmed the company was losing money. “Because of all the issues that have been happening, it was difficult to maintain,” he said.

Francour said the roughly 30 people who worked for Enstrom have been let go. Most have found new jobs, but some were waiting to see whether the company would continue to operate, he said. Workers were told if they find a different job and the company’s production returns, they’ll be more than welcome to return, an employee said.


“We have a pretty special group of employees,” Francour said. “We’re going to have to figure out a way to get them back.”

The company, founded in 1959 in Menominee, is a subsidiary of a Chinese firm, Chongqing General Aviation Industry Group Co. Ltd. (CGAG), Francour said. It had 200 employees up until a couple of years ago, when the business declined for several reasons, he said. “The pandemic was a big portion of where we’re at, but there were a lot of factors involved,” Francour said.

“I know things have been slow there,” said Jacqueline Boudreau, executive director and chief executive officer of the Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce. The company is likely facing “all the trade issues and supply chain issues. There’s just so many things it could be affected by,” she said.

The company builds and services helicopters and builds parts. “Our big market is the training market,” Francour said. Its helicopters ranged in price from $650,000 to $1.5 million, he said.

The company leased property at 2209 22nd St. near Menominee Regional Airport from Menominee County. “We lease the property, own the building,” Francour said. “It was set up for a long-term lease,” he said.

He hopes the company will reopen its doors, but it needed more money to continue operating. “They had some potential buyers but they could not come to terms, so they decided to file Chapter 7,” he said. “A couple of those people are interested in buying the company out of Chapter 7. It’s up to those companies,” he said.

Chapter 7 is a kind of bankruptcy that typically results in a liquidation, or a sale of the company’s assets, to pay its debtors. Butzel Long, a law firm in Troy, Mich., is representing the company in bankruptcy, Francour said.


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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2022, 21:34 
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Joined: 12/17/13
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Location: Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
Aircraft: Turbo Commander 680V
Sad. But they haven't innovated in 30 years. It's the same model still as 30 years ago and obviously customers are going to buy more modern or exciting stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2022, 21:44 
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Joined: 08/03/13
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Location: SW Colorado
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It’s extremely exciting when I try to IGE hover my brothers 480.


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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2022, 14:28 
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Hmm. A new trend. Mooney, Enstrom, Icon Aircraft -- who is next?

2012

Enstrom completes the order for the Royal Thai Army by delivering 16 helicopters. Work begins on the Japan contract, with eight helicopters delivered by the end of the year.

The year ends with Enstrom being purchased by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co., Ltd. (CQHIC). Orders are placed from three Chinese companies for ten aircraft.


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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2022, 17:16 
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Aircraft: Seabee Aerostar 700
I suppose it's only real competitor is the R44 how do they compare in price and performance?


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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2022, 19:19 
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Location: KPTK (SE Michigan)
Aircraft: C205
A buddy owns a F28. He tells me that parts pricing would make even a Textron exec blush.

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 Post subject: Re: Enstrom
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2022, 01:14 
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Location: KSGR Sugar Land
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I bet Chongqing General Aviation Industry Group Co. Ltd. (CGAG) buys the few assets it wants in the bankruptcy liquidation auction, such as technology, designs, certifications. There will not be enough sales proceeds to cover liabilities so CGAG will effectively stiff the employees and its US suppliers like engine supplier Lycoming.


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