Edwards & Associates: - Helicopter Association International

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Edwards & Associates: - Helicopter Association International

Edwards & Associates:

Promoting the Philosophy of Product, Service, and Safety

by Martin J. Pociask

Edwards & Associates, Inc complex in Bristol Tennessee.

Jeff Shapiro, President, and Paul Schreuder, Vice President, stand in front of Edward's

Flagship, the "world's highest time jet ranger."

A strong belief in maintaining satisfied

customers is the cornerstone philosophy

behind Helicopter Association

International (HAI) member, Edwards &

Associates, Inc. At Edwards, that

philosophy applies equally to those seeking

helicopter completions, a new or pre-owned

helicopter, and those who are modifying,

upgrading, or repairing their existing

aircraft. It's a philosophy that has

positioned them as a world-leading

helicopter dealer, refurbishing operation,

and completion center.

Edwards joined HAI in 1978, just one

year after being established as a company,

and has been an active Member and strong

supporter of HAI for over 25 years. In

1992, Robert B. "Bob" McNab, then

President and co-founder of Edwards &

Associates, became HAI's Chairman of the

Board. As a regular exhibitor at HELI-

EXPO, Edwards knows the value of

participation. Their generosity was

expressed in 1994, when HAI moved into

its new headquarters at 1635 Prince Street

in Alexandria, Virginia. Their gift to the

HAI Building Fund is noted on the "Donor

Wall" and reads, "was made possible

through a generous donation of Edwards &

Associates, Inc., Aeronautical Accessories,

Inc., and Rotor Blades, Inc."

Edwards also participated in the

production of HAI's Fly Neighborly video,

which describes the Fly Neighborly

Program. A voluntary noise reduction

program designed to be implemented

worldwide by local helicopter operators,

large and small. It includes all types of civil,

military, and government helicopter

operators. Implementation of this voluntary

noise reduction program helped to prompt

the FAA to agree to withdraw a Notice of

46 Spring 2004


Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on

helicopter noise.

In 1989, Robert Whitson, Vice

President and Director of

Maintenance at Edwards &

Associates, was awarded the HAI

"Salute to Excellence" Helicopter

Maintenance Award. Additionally,

Edwards' Quality Control Manager,

William "Tony" Webb was awarded

the HAI 1993 "Salute to Excellence"

Aviation Maintenance Technician

Award.

Carolyn Ferrell, Edward's Vice

President of Administration,

currently serves as Co-Chair of

HAI's Human Resources

Committee. This committee

sponsored the extremely successful

Job Fair held at HELI-EXPO 2004

in Las Vegas.

Edwards was purchased by Bell

Helicopter Textron in July 1999, and

operates out of a 225,000 square

foot complex, located in Bristol,

Tennessee. Factory-trained

technicians support the operation,

along with specialists, who perform

maintenance, overhaul and repair,

avionics, painting, interior

refurbishment and overall customer

support operations. Edwards &

Associates maintains an inventory of

quality new and pre-owned aircraft.

They are able to perform a variety

of custom configurations, while

exercising stringent quality control

Bell 430 UT Lifestar EMS.

Tony Stewart's Bell 407 and VIP interior.

over their product and services.

By any measure, Edwards

maintains a busy completion

operation. In 2003, the company

completed 76 new aircraft, which

consisted of Bell TH67s, 206BIIIs,

206Ls, 407s, 430s, 412s, and the

Huey II. Their completion center

works closely with their customers,

and is no stranger to special

requirements, be it for Electronic

News Gathering (ENG), Law

Enforcement, Forestry Services,

Emergency Medical Services

(EMS), and Corporate

configurations.

Their state-of-the-art computer

design program provides custom

paint schemes, executed by using

new techniques and equipment.

Also, their onsite manufacturing

capability helps to ensure inventory

availability, thus reducing downtime.

Computer engineered panel

layouts aid in design fitting and

selection of the appropriate avionics

package for each project. Edwards

provides a full range of installations

for radios, flight control systems,

mission-specific communications,

and entertainment systems. Skilled

technicians perform routine

scheduled and unscheduled

maintenance. Edwards is an FAA

and JAA Certified Repair Station.

They are also a Bell Customer

Service Facility for the Bell 205, 212,

and 412 medium helicopters as well

as the 206B 206L Series, 407 and

the 427, 222, 230 Twins, and the 430.

They are also a Sikorsky Customer

Service Facility for the S-76 and a

licensed Eurocopter and MD

Helicopter Repair Station.

Edwards maintains a complete

product inventory and through their

subsidiary sister company,

Aeronautical Accessories, Inc.,

which manufactures and distributes

from their 90,000 square foot

facility, provides more than 1,000

accessories and replacement parts

for all types of helicopters.

Spring 2004

47


"We don't do windows" is not spoken

here. They have an ample supply

and wide selection of windows, not

to mention interior trim, landing

gear, and mission-specific kits.

Aeronautical Accessories, also

located in Bristol, Tennessee, has

been an HAI Member since the

company began business in 1978.

Aeronautical Accessories currently

holds over 300 S.T.C. (Supplemental

Type Certificate) approvals,

including landing gear, windows,

interior trim replacements, carbide

skid shoes, and energy floatation

kits. These products are available

through their internationally

distributed catalog.

Aeronautical Accessories'

engineering department has earned

the status of Designated Alteration

Station (DAS), and their in-house

Designated Airworthiness

Representative (DAR) offers onsite

capability to streamline Federal

Aviation Administration (FAA)

certification and compliance.

In 1988, Edwards & Associates

acquired Rotor Blades, Inc. Rotor

Blades recently opened a new

20,000 sq. ft. facility is based in

Broussard, Louisiana, and

specializes in main and tail rotor

repair and sales. Expanding its staff

and capability, Rotor Blades

supports all Bell blade types and the

Sikorsky S-76. Plans are underway

to open a new repair facility in

Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

48 Spring 2004

Bell 430 U.T. Lifestar and Instrument Panel.

Edwards is currently working

with several customers and

manufactures on various designs for

the Bell/Agusta Aerospace

Company's AB139 helicopter. There

are plans to produce a luxurious

custom VIP interior, designed to

accommodate four to eight

passengers that utilize the available

space in the AB139.

Edwards is a fully authorized

FAA Part 135 Air Carrier Operator,

whose services include charter

flights, aerial photography, power

and pipeline patrol, executive

transportation, cargo hauling, and

other rotory-wing services. Because

safety is important to Edwards, the

company prides itself in using highly

qualified pilots for their charter

service operations and has been

awarded HAI's Operator Safety

Award for 17 consecutive years!

In 2003, the Air Trade Center

reported that Edwards and all its

employees throughout the three

companies had reported zero lost

time. One can point to the

institution of environmental, health,

and safety coordinators. The issue of

safety is a serious one for the

company and is reflected in the fact

that Edward's President, Jeff

Shapiro, conducts regular onsite

inspections to ensure that the best

safety practices are applied.

The company's interest in

promoting and enhancing safety,

efficient business operations,

professional development, education

and training, and all the while

staying abreast of the latest industry

developments and encouraging

industry participation, is noteworthy.

Busy as they are, providing

exceptional products and services,

Edwards still finds time to involve

themselves in issues affecting our

industry, such as public acceptance

and the Fly Neighborly program.

Active participation by HAI

members helps to advance the

helicopter as a safe and reliable

method of commerce and to

represent as a collective group the

concerns of hundreds of member

organizations. Successful members

such as Edwards & Associates

recognize the importance of

member participation.

Martin J. Pociask, is director of

communications for HAI.

The NYSP Bell 430 Airborne Law Enforcement/ EMS Configuration includes an AAI

sliding door and articulating patient loading system.

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