Helicopter Mavericks Reunite After 10 Years: A Tale of Collaboration and Resilience
Steve Wright (Rainier Heli International), Tom McShane (Air2, LLC Founder) and Jolie McShane, in Woodinville, Washington. Tom McShane loves his new Rainier Heli-Lift cap!
In the vast expanse of the helicopter industry, it’s not uncommon for paths to cross and for dynamic connections to be forged. Recently, a remarkable reunion unfolded as Tom McShane, the founder and original owner of Air2, LLC, reunited with Steve Wright, a senior executive at Rainier Heli International (A Halvorson Company). The meeting, filled with nostalgia and shared experiences, took place near the headquarters of Rainier Heli International in Kirkland, Washington.
The bond between Air2 and Rainier Heli International was not just a casual acquaintance; it was a testament to the power of collaboration and mutual support in the face of challenges.
When medium lift operations were required, Rainier Heli stepped in to deliver emergency services along with Air2.
The K-Max medium lift helicopter capabilities of Rainier Heli, combined with the maneuverability and access provided by Air2’s MD 500 helicopters, proved invaluable in restoring power after line damage from hurricanes, tornados, and ice storms.
The true test of their partnership came during critical moments when natural disasters struck. United by a common goal, the two companies seamlessly worked together to clear debris and restore power to storm-damaged powerlines. Their synchronized efforts became a beacon of hope for communities grappling with the aftermath of severe weather events, offering a swift and effective response to crises, especially after hurricanes.
Hurricanes became opportunities for the “Mavericks” to join forces. The collaboration between Air2 and Rainier Heli International wasn’t merely a business strategy; it was a shared commitment to serving the greater good. The helicopter industry, often relied upon for precision and speed, found in these partnerships a harmonious synergy that elevated both companies beyond their individual capacities.
A blast from the past, Steve Wright and Tom McShane touring the Grand Canyon with sister company Grand Canyon Airlines in 2011.
The reunion wasn’t just a chance encounter; it was a convergence facilitated by various factors. Family ties played a role, as Tom McShane’s daughter happened to live in the same town as Steve Wright. Tom’s wife, Jolie, the current President of Vesta Construction Websites, which specializes in websites for utility construction companies, was involved in the start-up of Air2. Beyond familial connections, the possibility of an investment and the mutual respect they garnered as fellow industry colleagues further solidified their bond.
As the two visionaries met, reminiscing about the challenges they faced and conquered together, it became evident that their partnership was more than a business transaction; it was a shared journey marked by trust, friendship, reliability, and a shared passion for aviation. The story of Air2 and Rainier Heli International is not just about machines and operations; it’s about people coming together to make a difference. The “Mavericks” have proven that even in the vastness of the skies, the bonds we forge on the ground can be the most powerful forces of all.
About Rainier Heli International
Rainier Heli provides helicopters worldwide through lease programs tailored to meet each customer’s specific needs. Rainier Heli prides itself on quick response time, offering helicopter support for both small and large operators. Rainier’s fleet of helicopters includes the Bell 407, Airbus Super Puma with various lift capacities, and more. Currently, Rainier Heli has over 20 aircraft on lease and continues to operate a K-Max helicopter for firefighting and construction work. As a subsidiary of Halvorson Company, Rainier Heli has access to the Halvorson aircraft fleet, which includes over 100 aircraft. Other Halvorson Aviation Companies include Monarch Enterprises, Inc., Papillon Airways, Inc., and Grand Canyon Airlines, Inc.
Steve Wright, Vice President
Steve has been with Rainier Heli International since 1998. He has transitioned Rainier from a helicopter logging company to a national and international leasing company. His area of expertise is the management of the leasing fleet and the operation of Rainier’s heavy lift and firefighting K-Max helicopter program. In 2007, Steve was elected to serve on the Helicopter Association International (HAI) US Government Contracting Committee and served as Chairman for three years from 2016 to 2018.
About Vesta Construction Websites
Vesta Construction Websites specializes in utility construction website design, creating websites for contractors offering construction services to pipeline owners, electric utility owners, and heavy industrial projects. Utility and heavy industrial construction company website needs are unique, requiring bid requests, safety sections, service areas, call to action, and construction internet marketing, all focused on generating leads. The Vesta team is well-versed in safety protocols, construction terminology, and industry trends, saving their customers time and money.
Tom McShane, VP of Operations
Tom was the founder and CEO of AIR2, LLC, which was sold to PLH Group, a North American utility construction company in 2010 and is currently owned by JBI Helicopter Services. Tom McShane has a strong entrepreneurial background, having successfully started, managed, and sold several companies. His involvement in Vesta Construction Websites combines his unique management and financial talents, affording him flexibility in the day-to-day operations. Tom has an Accounting Degree from Florida International University and obtained his CPA during his tenure at Deloitte.