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Wysong helicopter photo

Custom Craftsmanship

Lisa Gordon | July 22, 2016

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

When Steve Wysong started out in the aircraft electronics field in 1974, he probably never guessed that he would become an industry name in the modification of electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopters.

Wysong helicopter photoAmong the many high quality news feeds made possible by his equipment was the infamous June 1994 O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase broadcast, shot by helicopter pilot Bob Tur, who was using a gyro-stabilized camera system modified and installed by Wysong. His equipment was also used to gather news footage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans, La., in August 2005. Indeed, during his career, Wysong has been trusted with ENG helicopter installations for TV stations across North America.

Today, Wysong, aged 62, is president of Wysong Enterprises, a helicopter completions center based at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville, Tennessee. Founded in 1989, the successful family-owned company is well known in the helicopter industry for delivering custom-crafted completions and refurbishments of both new and used helicopters. Although the company got its start with ENG helicopter completions, it has since expanded its horizons.

“The original focus was the modification of news gathering helicopters,” said Tom Irmeger, the company’s director of sales and marketing. “Steve was on the forefront of completing aircraft that were the most technologically advanced aircraft of their time. From there, it has broadened out to all niches of helicopter modification, including emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement, utility, and personal or corporate aircraft.”

 

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Wysong Enterprises’ 50 employees perform close to 30 custom helicopter completions and refurbishments each year. Of those, perhaps 65 percent are new helicopters, with the remaining 35 percent of the work being done on pre-owned machines.

The company’s 26,000-square-foot facility in Blountville includes hangars, offices, and a dedicated paint shop. According to sales manager Paul Schreuder, the majority of Wysong’s current business stems from new helicopter completions for the EMS industry in the United States.

“The market segments change all the time and that dictates our business, just as it does for the big OEMs,” he explained. “With our array of capabilities, we’re even working in a currently slow oil-and-gas industry. Another segment of specialty is law enforcement, an industry with unique demands that are reflective of what’s going on in the world at the time. EMS happens to be the strong market at the moment, while corporate and utility markets are in a slower growth phase than in previous years.”

Wysong Enterprises prides itself on delivering helicopters that are ready to perform in the field–whether it be medical, law enforcement, ENG, corporate, utility, power line patrol, or mosquito spraying missions.

“Our customers talk about the quality of our customizations and their ability to get exactly what they want,” said Schreuder. “It’s always our desire to exceed the customer’s expectations.”

Wysong factory floor photo

Over the years, the company has added to its list of services, which now includes avionics, paint, interior completions, maintenance and refurbishment.

“We provide avionics engineering services to some companies. We also have a paint facility and offer some specialty cabinetry services,” said Irmeger. “We make some components of the medical interior we install in aircraft, as well as some mounting provisions for external cameras and microwave antennae. We design and build to the individual customer’s needs, and we have developed supplemental type certificates [STCs] for our ENG equipment mounts, for example.”

At HAI’s Heli-Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, the company’s booth showcased one of its most recent EMS completion projects, an Airbus Helicopters EC130 belonging to Memphis-based Hospital Wing, a non-profit air medical transport consortium.

“We have done several completions for Hospital Wing and they are all equipped identically,” said Schreuder. “All of the operators are trying to standardize their completions.”

At the end of the day, the team at Wysong Enterprises knows what makes them different. It’s an unparalleled commitment to quality and customer support that was instilled by company founder, Steve Wysong, and has been adopted by every staff member.

“After the aircraft leaves, we’re always available to supply any support that is needed,” concluded Schreuder. “As a leader in the helicopter completions and customization industry, we stand out because we are committed to service everything we sell to our customers.”

www.wysongusa.com

423.325.6900

If you would like to see your company featured in Insight, contact sales director Frank Sargeant at frank@mhmpub.com

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