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Columbia Helicopters, Inc. and GE Aviation have announced that they have reached an agreement whereby Columbia Helicopters will become the total logistics support provider for all operators and maintainers of T58 and CT58 engines, with the sole exception being the T58-400B engine model used for executive transport by the U.S. Government.
This agreement will ensure the continued seamless support of the T58 and CT58 engine series, within the established capabilities and approvals held by Columbia.
Columbia has purchased a considerable inventory from both Sikorsky Aircraft Company and GE, and will soon begin selling directly to other engine owners and maintainers.
Under this agreement, GE has licensed Columbia to produce all procurable spare parts under its existing FAA Production Certificate and utilizing OEM drawings and specifications. This activity will commence following FAA approval and update to Columbia’s Production Limitation Record (PLR).
Columbia intends to proactively analyze fleet trends and future needs to provide sustaining parts support with the intention of providing T58 and CT58 customers with the premier service that is a fundamental part of the Columbia brand.
By fully supporting the global operating fleet and maintenance providers, Columbia will ensure that adequate resources and parts production volume will continue into the foreseeable future, while maintaining the commercial viability of the product.
“The T58 is one of the most reliable helicopter engines in the world,” said Marc Joslow, GE Aviation’s program manager for their turboshaft and turboprop military programs. “Created under a development contract with the U.S. Navy awarded in 1953, the T58 was GE’s first small turbine engine and was instrumental in the evolution and popularity of helicopters as a mode of transportation. We look forward to partnering with Columbia Helicopters to further build upon the T58 legacy.”
In addition to parts manufacturing and distribution, Columbia will also become the source for engine technical publications and for technical support with respect to T58 and CT58 operational and maintenance issues.
The transition of support from GE to Columbia is expected to take approximately four months.
Following the transition, GE, as the T58/CT58 FAA Type Certificate holder will remain highly involved with this program and maintain responsibility for engine configuration control.
Columbia is well-known and highly respected throughout the operating and maintenance sectors of the industry, and GE is confident of the commitment and capabilities of its personnel to provide the continuing high levels of service, quality, and support that has come to be expected with this program.