Photo: Doug Hatcher
Mar. 30, 2021
A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
For more than 50 years, PJ Helicopters has supported the agriculture, utility, forestry, and construction industries. The Red Bluff, California–based company also serves the law enforcement and air taxi sectors, provides remote landings at high and snowy altitudes, and offers maintenance and repair services.
In recent years, PJ Helicopters has grown to employ more than 100 team members from all over the United States.
The company’s fleet of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft allows PJ Helicopters to respond to a vast variety of jobs, from scheduled lifts to transports to support operations to emergency-response situations such as restoring power to thousands of people during blackout events or assisting in fighting the wildfires that have so devastated its home state and a large portion of the Western United States in recent years.
PJ Helicopters operates an extensive fleet of rotorcraft:
- UH-60A Utility Hawk
- Bell 214B, 407, 429, 206L-3, and UH-1H 703 Plus
- MD 530F and 520N.
Its recent expansion has also enabled to add a new model of aircraft to its fleet—the next-generation Bell 429—as well as additional UH-60A Utility Hawks from Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company.
PJ Helicopters plans to use the new Bell 429s to support the utility industry. The company will also partner with Bell to build out the performance envelope of the 429 for both utility and firefighting missions.
PJ Helicopters received a restricted-category type certification for the Utility Hawk in 2015 and has continued to build its fleet of these versatile aircraft. The model repeatedly proves itself as an essential tool in the utility, construction, and firefighting sectors.
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Services
PJ Helicopters completed a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art maintenance hangar in 2019, allowing the company to increase its maintenance functions and repair station capabilities. With the new hangar, PJ Helicopters performs more procedures in-house, giving it complete control over certain overhaul capabilities and component rebuilds, increasing the company’s efficiency, and enabling it to better meet the needs of a growing fleet and customer base.
PJ Helicopters also offers in-depth flight training and maintenance and safety programs, which the company credits for enabling it to support essential industries.
The key to PJ Helicopters’ success is its focus on conducting its work in the safest, most efficient manner possible and a strong dedication to customer service. “We continually strive to remain a top-tier operator for our customers across the country,” says Jeff Rabalais, the operator’s project manager.