By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Bank after Evergreen helicopter

The helicopter is reportedly sitting in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is reportedly in a state of disrepair.

The lawsuit was filed in March. It names Evergreen International Aviation, owner Del Smith, longstanding subsidiaries Evergreen Holdings Inc. and Ventures Acquisition Company LLC, and newly created subsidiary VAC 139.

The bank subsequently entered into a forbearance agreement with Evergreen, allowing the company until Oct. 1 to restore and deliver the helicopter in an airworthy state, or, alternatively, Oct. 15 to pay off the loan. However, Evergreen failed to meet either of the deadlines.

1st Source is now demanding immediate return of the craft. It is also seeking a restraining order to prevent Evergreen from taking any action serving to reduce the value of the asset.

A memo filed with the court Dec. 13 maintains, “The defendants have previously cannibalized parts from plaintiff’s other aircraft collateral and have used these parts (which had previously constituted plaintiff’s secured collateral) to ready other aircraft for sale to third parties. Recent news articles reveal that the property of defendants is located in multiple jurisdictions and is being made subject to materialman’s and other third party lien claims.

“To date, Defendants have failed to make the collateral airworthy, and given the location of plaintiff’s collateral, and defendants’ previous treatment of other collateral, the aircraft is likely to deteriorate further. Given defendants’ dire financial circumstances, there is significant risk that this behavior might continue.”

The bank also accuses Evergreen of failing to maintain insurance on the craft, as required under terms of the loan.

In a sworn Dec. 20 response, Smith told the court the helicopter was “reasonably safe from damage in its current location at the maintenance facility.” He said it was “insured in the amount of $14 million and is awaiting the delivery of parts and repair to enable a return to airworthiness.”

He continued, “Evergreen Helicopters Inc. pre-paid $725,000 in rent to an account held by plaintiff for the lease of the aircraft.” He told the court, “Ventures recently received a third-party refinancing commitment to pay plaintiff off in full and release any lien on the helicopter.”

The parties have a telephone conference call with the judge scheduled for Jan. 6.

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