03.08.10

Leahy Congratulates Goodrich Employees On Delivery Of Two-Thousandth Unit Of Life-Saving, Money-Saving Helicopter Technology

VERGENNES, Vt. – Sen. Patrick Leahy joined approximately 300 Goodrich employees in Vergennes Monday to celebrate the shipment of the company’s two-thousandth helicopter diagnostic system to the Department of Defense.  Leahy, who for the past ten years has helped the company win more than $100 million in contracts to develop and deploy the systems, said the company’s diagnostic tools have been at the heart of the Addison County economy since 2000.

Goodrich’s Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) give mechanics feedback on a helicopter’s engine performance, structural performance and rotor performance – allowing a helicopter to be serviced before major system failures.  Before the use of HUMS units, helicopters were routinely taken out of service for unnecessary preventative maintenance.  The units are onboard a variety of military and commercial helicopters including the Blackhawk, Chinook, Huey, Cobra and Lakota.  The Vermont Air National Guard’s newly arrived Blackhawk helicopters stationed in Burlington feature HUMS units. 

“I am incredibly proud to mark this day with the men and women of Goodrich,” said Leahy.  “Two-thousand HUMS units is a win for Vermont, the Department of Defense, and our men and women in uniform.  These life-saving, money-saving devices keep our helicopters flying safely and have been at the heart of this region’s economy.”

Goodrich Vice President Gary Loftus explained that a Blackhawk unit fully equipped with HUMS units recently set a new record for numbers of hours flown in a 12-month period and saved taxpayers $45 million in maintenance costs.  The HUMS units give feedback to mechanics that enable them to catch big problems while they are still small, inexpensive problems, Loftus explained.  They also catch problems while the helicopter is either on the ground or in time to get the helicopter to the ground safely, he noted.

Loftus said, "In an era when so much of what government does is criticized or politicized, the UH-60 HUMS is a great example of leadership getting it right.  We would not be here today had Senator Leahy not risen up and enabled Goodrich technology to partner with the Army in making this a reality."

Leahy said he has supported Goodrich’s HUMS production both directly and indirectly – securing multiple contracts directly during consideration of the defense budgets during the past ten years and indirectly by working with the military to include the units in their own budgets.  Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual Defense Department budget bill.

Goodrich is a Fortune 500 company that supplies systems and services to the aerospace and defense industry.  Goodrich currently employs 782 people at its Vergennes Sensors and Integrated Systems division. 

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