Hard Work Defines Us.

From its beginnings, Columbia Helicopters has been a roll-your-sleeves-up and get the job done operation. Founder Wes Lematta was a hard-working, larger-than-life entrepreneur who supplemented his fledgling company with work as a truck driver. Wes recognized that helicopters had utility and potential beyond moving people, and for 60 years, Columbia Helicopters has done just that.

Far Beyond Flight

We were the original heavy-lift helicopter operator, and today we are the industry leader. Our helicopters and crews take on the jobs few others are qualified to attempt. From logging and construction, to disaster relief and defense, forestry to firefighting — no job is too big or too tough for this team.

Yet our work goes far beyond flight; our service and support of these outsized, and complex heavy-lift helicopters is just as specialized and trusted.

We remain true to our roots and responsive to the needs of our customers, while continuing to pioneer to better support every job and every mission.


Columbia’s Purpose

To support our employees, customers, and communities by engaging in dynamic and rewarding aviation endeavors.

Columbia’s Vision

To lead our industry with dedicated people delivering inspired solutions.

  • Safety– We accept no substitute for safety.
  • Customer Service– We are passionate about serving our customers.
  • Performance– We strive to exceed expectations and continuously improve.
  • Teamwork– We are dedicated to team success.
  • Integrity– Is the foundation of our core values.


Columbia Helicopters is committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees, contractors, customers, visitors, and products at all of its operations and facilities, and pledges to protect the environment and the communities in which it operates.

To maintain a world-class HSE Program and drive excellence in performance and continual improvement, Columbia Helicopters will:

Core Values

  • Comply with all applicable health, safety and environment regulations and laws, and its global HSE standards.
  • Ensure a non-punitive safety environment to encourage reporting of incidents, hazards and safety-related concerns.
  • Reduce accidents, injuries and work-related illness to the lowest level practicable.
  • Act to minimize the environmental impact of its activities.
  • Educate and motivate employees and contractors to conduct their activities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
  • Allocate the resources necessary to achieve excellence in HSE performance.

We are proud to have some of the longest tenured employees in the business.

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