March 31 - Columbia Helicopters has acquired five Boeing CH-47D helicopters formerly operated by the US Army.

HLPFI reported on February 19, 2014 that Columbia Helicopters had acquired three Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavy lift helicopters from the US government.

The heavy lift helicopters were manufactured in the early 1970s and upgraded to the D-model configuration in 1988. The new capacity will join the company's existing fleet of six Columbia Model 234 Chinooks, and 14 Columbia Vertol 107-IIs.

Columbia Helicopters has already taken delivery of the first unit, with the other four slated to arrive "shortly", said Todd Petersen, vice-president marketing at the Portland, Oregon based company.

"We have been considering the purchase of surplus CH-47D Chinooks for the past several years, but had to wait until the aircraft were made available for auction by the General Services Administration (GSA) before we could act," said Petersen. "We purchased them in order to increase our presence in our current markets-specifically construction, the oil and gas industry, and aerial fire fighting."