STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service) is an Air Ambulance Service that serves the three prairie provinces. They are a non-profit organization that is primarily supported by public donations. Recently they have chosen to update their 30-year-old helicopters with the new AIRBUS H145 helicopters, nine in total, at a cost of $13 million Canadian each. These helicopters require a very strict maintenance schedule with a complete teardown done on them every 800 hours plus many other services are done at lesser intervals. During the maintenance, a cowl stand is used to hold and protect the panels, or cowls as they are called, until the service is completed. It is important to protect the panels as the cost of painting a helicopter is $50,000. These stands are available to purchase through AIRBUS in Germany but are cost-prohibitive at a price tag of $30,000 Canadian each (x9 helicopters = $270,000).
Unfortunately, that expense couldn’t be justified in their budget. So, with a great deal of research, countless hours of planning, and some really amazing friends; Windsor Plywood Saskatoon & friends were able to build, paint, and decal a cowl stand. Windsor Plywood Saskatoon presented this cowl stand to their local STARS Air Base free of charge!