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Columbia Helicopters came to together with Erickson and Erickson Lumber to make history. The S-61, flown by Jim Lematta, successfully harvested trees from a Northern California forest in what became the first successful commercial helicopter logging operation. Lematta and Erickson would team up again later that year with a rented Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane to once again prove that heli-logging was commercially viable. Lematta and Erickson parted ways, with Erickson eventually establishing Erickson Air Crane. Wes Lematta created an entire forestry department at Columbia Helicopters which has successfully logged all over the United States, Canada and even as far away as Malaysia, Chile and New Zealand. By 1985, Columbia had been logging for 15 years and in that time Columbia helicopters had harvested nearly two billion board feet. This would build enough three bedroom houses for a city


the size of Dallas, TX or fill enough log trucks to go end to end from Portland, OR to New York City and half way back (Petersen, Vezmar & Skinner, 2007). In 1969 Wes Lematta would make one of the most important decisions that he ever made for Columbia Helicopters. Upon hearing that New York Airways was looking to sell its fleet of Boeing Vertol 107s, Wes


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