Erickson Air-Crane named in anti-trust suit

Evergreen Helicopters of McMinnville has filed an anti-trust and breach of contract suit against Erickson Air-Crane Inc.

Evergreen, a heavy lift helicopter operator, filed suit in U.S. District Court on Monday, claiming Erickson Air-Crane has shut it out of potential jobs by limiting access to parts and services.

The amount Evergreen seeks in the suit is to be decided at trial and would be tripled because of the anti-trust claim.

Evergreen said it has been unable to fly its Skycranes for the number of hours customer demand would support and has had to turn away business because one or more of those aircraft were grounded by a lack of spare parts. It has been delayed in making another model of large helicopter, the CH-54, operational, the suit claimed.

Evergreen claims it has been unable to bid on certain contracts because it could not be assured that it would have all the parts required and has been forced to spend resources in a mostly futile effort to find alternative sources of parts other than Erickson. Evergreen also said it has incurred additional expense in writing manuals to get its CH-54s certified as airworthy, without access to any documentation from Erickson.

Evergreen cites contractual agreements dating back to 1992 with Sikorsky, obligating Erickson to provide parts, components and accessories for Skycrane aircraft.

Erickson AirCrane has operated in Central Point since mid-1970s. This spring the company's front office was moved to Portland, but the heavy lift helicopter operator and manufacturer continues to run its plant on Willow Springs Road.

Erickson officials said they were surprised by the suit as they provide Evergreen with parts and services.

— Greg Stiles

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