By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Evergreen Vintage Aircraft files for bankruptcy

The company did not volunteer a reason for its action. However, it listed assets of $50,000 to $100 million and debts of $100 million to $500 million, suggesting a potentially sizable imbalance.

Among creditors with unsecured claims, the company listed the IMAX Corporation, still owed $50,000 on a terminated theater contract.

The court notified company representative Lisa Anderson that several elements of necessary documentation were missing, and must be provided to avoid dismissal. It proceeded nonetheless to schedule a meeting of creditors for Jan. 13.

Both the museum and the closely allied Captain Michael King Smith Foundation, which owns much of the rest of the museum campus, filed special notice requests with the court.

So did Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Bank, which holds deeds of trust against the aviation museum and theater, and has been assigned rent from those two buildings. The late Del Smith put up the property as collateral against a 2008 loan on which the bank is currently owed almost $27 million.

 In October, the bank was awarded an uncontested judgment against Smith. The deeds of trust were revealed in the course of that case, handled in Marion County Circuit Court, along with a commercial security agreement against the contents of the two buildings.

On Dec. 1, Hoffman Construction, which built most of the museum complex, filed a foreclosure action against the Michael King Smith Foundation, seeking parts of the museum campus to be sold at auction to satisfy a $1.9 million debt. The company holds deeds of trust on a foundation-owned parcel at 510 N.E. Captain Michael King Smith Way that houses the Evergreen Chapel, Wings and Dreams Adventure Park and the foundation for a planned Red Hawk Lodge.

Museum representative Melissa Grace issued a statement Monday saying the tangle of litigation was having little immediate effect on its operation.

“We are aware that Evergreen Vintage Aircraft LLC has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy law,” she said. “That company is a separate for-profit company.

“The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is an independent nonprofit organization. Most of our museum’s collection of more than 180 aircraft and artifacts is owned by the museum or on loan from federal government agencies.”

She acknowledged, “Our museum does have 25 aircraft and vehicles on loan from Evergreen Vintage Aircraft LLC. These remain on loan.” And she said, “We are continuing to lease the theater building, which is owned by Evergreen Vintage Aircraft LLC.”

Grace concluded, “Our museum continues to operate as before. We have no other comment to make at this time.”

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