The following press release, dated April 3, was delivered to the Headlight Herald the afternoon of April 3 by Mike Oliver, manager of the Tillamook Air Museum. It is printed here in its entirety.
“April 3, 2013
“Erickson Aero Tanker, a related entity to Erickson Group,. Ltd., who owns the Tillamook Air Museum, recently purchased an air-tanker operation based in Madras Oregon. Erickson Aero Tanker operates three DC7 air-tankers and is developing an MD87 new generation air-tanker with plans to operate a fleet of at least seven tankers for global aerial firefighting.
“As a result, Erickson announced today that it does not intend to renew its lease with the Port of Tillamook Bay at the expiration of the parties lease in January 2016. The World War II blimp hangar currently houses both the Erickson vintage aircraft collection and aircraft on loan to the Port of Tillamook from the US Navy.
“Museum General Manager, Michael Oliver commented; ‘It will be business as usual for us this year, though we do expect some changes as we work with the Port during this transitional period. Our Madras operation offers both an opportunity to locate our vintage aircraft collection to a more conducive climate with a skilled workforce capable of maintaining these unique and valuable aircraft into the future.’
“Construction on a new 65,000 square foot hanger will start this summer. This facility along with an existing 22,000 square foot facility will support the modification and maintenance of the aerial tanker fleet, with storage for, and eventual display of the vintage aircraft collection started by Jack Erickson in 1983.
“The Erickson Group, Ltd. Is a family holding company owned by Jack Erickson. This family business was founded in 1937 in forest products and presently has business interests in aviation, investments and commercial real estate.”