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Disaster Relief

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Disaster Relief

Sudan Disaster Relief

A Columbia 107 delivers famine relief supplies to a remote village in Darfur Province, Sudan.

Columbia Helicopters Inc. is an Aurora, Oregon based heavy-lift helicopter company. Established in 1957, we have accumulated years of operational expertise that encompass: construction, oil rig moves, oil rig support, helilogging, salvage operations, fire fighting, government support projects, USAID operations and much more.

This wide and varied background provides us with the essential elements necessary to undertake all aspects of lift operations that are required during successful disaster relief projects.

The years of disaster relief operations Columbia has carried out, have given its 750 employees a vast pool of experience to draw upon. We have been tasked to provide our services to assist in the recovery of a wide range of disasters. This includes everything from distributing food and medicine for USAID projects in Africa, marine salvage, removing car wrecks from high mountain lakes and deep ravines, to timber recovery and oil spill cleanup in Louisiana.

Successful recovery projects require the skilled utilization of many resources, including experienced personnel and the right tools. Cohesive, flexible and proactive management teams are required to minimize risk, utilize resources effectively, and demonstrate to the public that projects are proceeding quickly, effectively, and with the local area's best interest in mind.

Columbia Helicopters brings this experience to you.
In short, if you want a successful disaster relief operation that runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely, we're the team that can carry it out.


Infrastructure Recovery


With helicopter lift capacity of up to 28,000lbs, Columbia Helicopters offers a wide range of vertical lift capacities.


Our helicopters can be outfitted to carry passengers, or a combination of passengers and cargo. They can be equipped for long-line operations, fire suppression, logging and area clean-up operations. We have the flexibility to give you the ability to fight fire in the morning, move mobile hospitals at noon and conduct area clean-up operations in the afternoon. We can haul generators, pumps, even bulldozers and heavy equipment. We can then re-supply the equipment and ground crews with fuel, water, food and other supplies. We are hazmat qualified so if required we can even move explosives!


Columbia Helicopters has a wide array of skids, lift pallets, nets, construction load rigging, long lines, hooks, grapples, concrete buckets, water buckets, tanks, blivets, hoppers and many other types of equipment. All of which can be made available at the disaster relief zone to assist in rebuilding the infrastructure.

Timber Removal

Safety in disaster situations is paramount. No longer do you need to send ground crews into the disaster area to prepare timber for removal. Our helicopters come equipped with grapples to efficiently remove the timber and clear the disaster zone without the need for any ground crews in the disaster zone.

Waterways, canals, and swamps can prove difficult for disaster relief operations. Helicopter 'grappling' has proven to be invaluable in clearing out water-logged areas. When the ground water is known to be contaminated or is suspected to be dangerous to ground crews, grappling is often the only way to remove downed timber. It is a safe method of area clean-up with little risk to ground personnel.

The effectiveness of grapples is even more apparent when the downed timber is buried or surrounded by heavy brush. We can move the brush out of the way, piling it in suitable designated areas, allowing access to the larger timber below.

Operational efficiency is increased by using grapples and safety factors are higher. Other major benefits include assignment flexibility, low manning costs, and rapid response times to changing priorities and roles.

35 years of helicopter logging, and many thousands of satisfied clients, speaks to our knowledge and experience with grapple and long-line operations. We are considered by many to be the best in the industry and continue to work hard to maintain that position. Columbia Helicopters is the first choice for timber recovery operations.