Born to an Oregon timber family, Jack Erickson learned to fly in 1953 and spent his succeeding years creating a diverse aviation legacy. After a successful trial in heli-logging, Erickson Air-Crane Company was spawned using the Sikorsky S64 Skycrane. The company redefined aerial heavy lift in logging, firefighting, transmission tower erection and many limited access construction projects worldwide. The crowning project was the removal and replacement of the Statue of Freedom on the U.S. Capitol in 1993. At the time of its sale in 1997, the company operated 14 Skycranes, had flown 20,000 annual flight hours, employed 800 people and had operations in the United States, Canada and southeast Asia.
Now in its fourth generation, Erickson Group subsidiaries conduct fixed wing medevac operations, sell and maintain corporate aircraft (Aero Air-1998), modify 757 passenger aircraft to freighter/combi configurations, provide engineering support to major airlines (Precision Aviation Group-2001), and are developing a fleet of MD87 tankers for firefighting operations (Erickson Aero Tanker-2012).
After acquiring a North American P-51D 1n 1983 the Erickson Aircraft Collection has grown to 24 aircraft. A Boeing B-17G acquired last year joins a Lockheed P-38L, Republic P-47D and Nakajima KI-43llb as notable aircraft in this flying collection. In 2014 the collection will move from Tillamook to a new central Oregon facility in Madras.