Remember when you first learned to drive? Pulling into the garage for the first time was a daunting task. You had to get the car just-so and not hit any bikes, tools, or lawn equipment. Imagine having to park a helicopter into its “garage.”
Thankfully, Helicopter Handler™ makes that task an easy one, and PBZ has helped manufacture them since 2005. The Helicopter Handler is a landing trailer for skid-equipped helicopters (See video below).
Most skid-equipped helicopters require two to four persons – depending on the size – to install ground-handling wheels enabling the helicopter to be moved in and out of the hangar. The Helicopter Handler helicopter dolly turns the ground handling into a one-person job.
The pilot lands on the Helicopter Handler and, after shutdown, attaches a small tug or garden tractor to the Handler. Then the helicopter is moved into the hangar. When the pilot’s ready to depart, the Handler and helicopter are towed to the ramp for departure. In most instances, the helicopter dolly remains on the ramp until the helicopter returns.
Jacques C. Guequierre formed Main Line Helicopter Corporation as an air taxi service company. The veteran helicopter pilot saw the need for a device that would allow one person to move a skid-equipped helicopter, and he began building Helicopter Handler Helicopter Trailers in 1967. Main Line Helicopter LLC acquired the manufacturing and distribution rights for Helicopter Handler from Guequierre in October 2013. Main Line Helicopter LLC is a female-owned Alabama Company formed by Sherry W. Hadley, president, and Howard K. Hadley, vice president. Sherry and Howard have been involved with the helicopter and aerospace industry for more than 30 years.
The original owner was building the Helicopter Handler using several different manufacturers and suppliers. In 2005, PBZ Manufacturing agreed to consolidate all facets of the manufacturing, powder coating, assembly and shipping out of one location.
“This arrangement has worked well for about 10 years and we look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come,” Sherry said.
Sherry said the helicopter dollies are considered an industry standard by various law enforcement and government agencies and are overbuilt for maximum safety and ease of movement by minimal staffing.
“Our customers include private owners, air medical transport companies and hospitals, federal, state, county and city law enforcement organizations, the United States Military – primarily the Army Air National Guard – and utility companies,” Sherry said.