A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
of Janesville, Wis., is a third-party aftermarket-parts supply company that has provided legacy aircraft parts to the international helicopter industry for more than 30 years.
The company supports the market by both purchasing surplus parts and providing a large inventory of sought-after parts.
“We purchase excess inventories from helicopter operators that have changed their fleet as well as companies that experience a merger or business slowdown,” says Peter Bales, Tradewind’s CEO, owner, and founder. “Through this process, we can provide customers seeking parts with considerable cost savings.”
A Multitude of Parts for a Multitude of Aircraft
Tradewind owns all the inventory in its 19,000-square-foot warehouse, thereby cutting out middleman sales agreements. The supplier maintains stock parts for various aircraft, including the Bell 204/205, 206, 212, 214, 222, and 412; Airbus AS350, AS355, AS365, AS330J, AS332, SE 3130 Alouette II, and Alouette III; MD 500 (369A, OH-6); and Sikorsky S-76.
Over the past few years, the company has made significant investments in its inventory system and, as a result, now maintains photos and scans of nearly every part at its facility.
“Even though we’re not sourcing parts directly from any manufacturers, this system allows us to show our customers the exact product and documentation we have, enabling them to make an informed purchasing decision before we ship the part,” says Tyler Rockenfield, Tradewind’s manager of technical services.
An Active Buyer
Besides selling parts, Tradewind helps operators and repair stations capitalize on their excess parts inventory. Companies seeking to sell such inventory can send a list of items to Tradewind. Tradewind will then assess the list (and occasionally make a visual inspection) and make a competitive offer. Once a deal is struck, the parts are shipped to Tradewind’s facility, where the parts are inspected and photographed and related documents scanned.
Tradewind is always looking for companies with excess inventory and invites them to send in their listings, Bales says.
In addition to parts, Tradewind buys and sells whole helicopters, again aiming to provide competitive pricing.
“Customer satisfaction is our goal,” Bales says. “We love the helicopter industry. It’s our bread and butter. It’s all we do. Our employees have years of experience in aviation, helicopter operations, and aircraft part sales.
“Our experience enables us to understand our clients’ needs, and we have proudly earned a reputation for our outstanding service,” adds Bales.