Photos courtesy of Brim Aviation
Operator of MD 600 and 900 series, Leonardo AW109SP, and Bell 204/UH-1 Huey helicopters provides support for a range of missions.
Ashland, Oregon-based Brim Aviation is a utility helicopter operator with satellite bases in Astoria, Oregon, and Wellington, Texas. Founded in 1993 by Burl Brim, the company offers a wide variety of services in the United States and beyond.
Brim Aviation operates a fleet of MD 600, MD 902, MD 900, Leonardo AW109SP, and Bell UH-1H Huey helicopters. The company also uses an extensive fleet of fuel trucks, fuel trailers, tooling and spare parts vans for maintenance technicians, and crew support vehicles for field and remote operations. The company has FAA certificates for Part 133 (external-load helicopter operations), Part 135 (commuter and on-demand operations), and Part 137 (agricultural aircraft operations) and flies nearly 5,000 flight hours annually.
Among many helicopter-based missions, Brim Aviation’s key services include:
- power line construction and maintenance support
- search-and-rescue (SAR)
- human external cargo (HEC)
- hoist operations
- animal capture and survey
- airborne law enforcement
- aerial ignition
- pipeline construction and survey
- precision longline operations
- construction services
- fire suppression
- mineral and seismic exploration
- aerial seeding and fertilization
- aerial photography.
Columbia River Bar Pilots program
In addition to those services, Brim Aviation provides a unique offshore hoisting transfer program for the Columbia River Bar Pilots in Astoria, Oregon. The Columbia River features a system of bars and shoals at the mouth of the river. It includes one of the most treacherous sandbars in the world, capable of experiencing changing conditions that can transition from calm to life-threatening in as little as five minutes. The Columbia River Bar has earned the nickname Graveyard of the Pacific. Because of the potential danger, bar pilots are required to help captains navigate large cargo ships in and out of the mouth of the Columbia River.
Brim Aviation safely hoists bar pilots from the helicopter to and from cargo ships in its AW109SP, a helicopter that can fly the mission even in extreme weather conditions that are common in the area. Helicopter hoist operations account for approximately 70% of all transfers, while pilot boats perform the rest.
Preferring to cater to the specialized aerial support market, Brim Aviation markets itself as more than a typical point A to point B type of aviation company. Since its inception in 1993, Brim Aviation has provided customer service and customized aviation services that seek to illustrate to operators that the sky is no longer the limit.
The company’s employees include full-time maintenance technicians and experienced pilots and rescue crews with specialized skills.
Brim Aviation’s operations and maintenance teams have reached the highest level of performance-based assessments in the industry. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) has awarded the company with International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Stage 3 certification.