Meet Us

Our Conviction

We were created with a love for people and a passion to serve.

 

Our Mission

To inspire and enable aviation dreams –
one relationship, one aircraft, and one flight at a time.

 

Because we love people and believe in aviation’s power to enrich and transform lives, we invest in helping people successfully integrate aviation into their lives so that they can realize the freedom, opportunity, beauty, adventure, community, and achievement that aviation brings.

 

 

Bill Heckathorn

President/Founder

Bill started Performance Aircraft in 2004 after gaining experience as a flight instructor, FBO manager, and new and used aircraft sales representative. His company vision was to leverage the power of internet and technology to improve the customer experience, and his original slogan read, “Selling aircraft through integrity, innovation, and knowledge.”

Given his background in the industry, Bill understands the ins and outs of aircraft ownership, positioning and marketing aircraft, and working with overseas buyers. He offers special insight into the late model Cessna and Cirrus markets, and he really enjoys helping first time aircraft owners understand and enjoy aircraft ownership.

With a vision to enable others to enjoy the benefits of flight through top quality, safety first pilot training, Bill expanded Performance Aircraft in 2006 by opening a Flight Training Center. Located at the Lincoln Municipal Airport (KLNK) in Lincoln, NE, Performance Aircraft offers professional flight training, aircraft rental, and the Performance Pilot Club.

Bill and his wife Sarah have three girls, Molly, Jenna, and Jacie. In addition to aviation, Bill enjoys fishing, boating, and serving in his church.

Katie Ulrich

Director of Operations and Marketing

Katie joined Performance Aircraft in 2014, bringing with her over a decade of experience in marketing, sales, operations, and business development. With a bachelor’s degree in communications and extensive knowledge of online marketing and communications, Katie develops high impact, comprehensive marketing and advertising campaigns for our aircraft sales customers. Katie also oversees day-to-day business operations and new growth directives for the company.

Prior to joining our team, Katie was the Marketing Director for a business consulting and software company. Responsible for leading the company into multiple new markets, she has helped them achieve remarkable growth within their industry.

Katie’s skills in marketing and business development help us provide the optimal, stress-free experience for our clients.

Katie enjoys working out, reading, and attending her children’s activities and sporting events. She and her husband Brad have five children.

Donn Stoner

Flight Training Director

Donn’s love for aviation started at age 9 when he enjoyed his first flight with a local aircraft owner. Since that day, the desire to be involved in aviation has never left him. Spending 4 years in the Navy as an Air Traffic Controller fueled his adventures in aviation while serving stateside, as well as abroad with aircraft carrier operations at sea. After the Navy came a career with the FAA as a Controller in Waterloo Iowa, Lincoln Nebraska, and Chicago O’Hare airport. Working with all kinds of aircraft from military, commercial airliners, to general aviation aircraft has caused great appreciation for the industry with it’s many different facets.

A dream was realized at age 50 when Donn obtained a private pilot certificate as well as an instrument rating through Performance Aircraft. In 2018, Donn joined Performance Aircraft as Director of Flight Training with a passion to impact the aviation industry by leading alongside a team dedicated to make a difference in the lives of people. Increasing the pilot ranks to address the growing deficit of pilots in the US and Internationally seems a worthy pursuit in the years to come. Serving to impact the people on our team, the communities where we live, the industry we are in, and the world we are a part of, gives a framework for living with purpose.

Prior to joining the Performance team, Donn was People Resource Director for an Auto Group that spanned 3 markets. Responsibilities included creating a people development culture with clear mission and cultural values. This occurred through leadership development of managers, and identification and development of emerging leaders. In short, working in a team based environment while encouraging and developing people to their full potential is a life motive for Donn.

Favorites include: spending time with his wife Mary and their family including 6 grand-kids, archery hunting, woodworking, outdoor activities, driving anything John Deere, and of course flying as often as possible.

Curt Epp

Aircraft Sales Consultant

Curt joined Performance Aircraft in 2017 to specialize in managing jet and turboprop aircraft transactions.

Prior to joining Performance Aircraft, Epp worked at Cessna Aircraft Company/Textron Aviation for 16 Years, where he was promoted to Regional Sales Director.

An accomplished pilot, Epp spent 14 years in the Flight Department as a Senior Training Pilot. With type ratings in every Citation built, Epp has circled the globe in various jets and turboprops.

With 30 years in the industry, Curt is excited for the opportunity to help customers at Performance Aircraft with their worldwide travel needs while working alongside a tremendously hard-working, family-oriented team.

“I’m eager to share my enthusiasm for flying and passion for aviation. It can greatly improve people’s lifestyle and how they take care of their loved ones. In a way, you’re taking a piece of aluminum and turning it into people’s dreams.”

In addition to flying and aviation, Curt enjoys spending time with his family (Sarah, Will, Wes, and Lauren) and friends, cheering on children’s activities, being part of Husker Nation, and a rare moment on the golf course.

Eric Hartwell

Flight Training Manager

Eric’s journey with Performance Aircraft began as a customer back in 2008. He started flight training in a Cessna 172SP Skyhawk during his senior year of high school at Lincoln East and completed his private pilot license that July. In February 2011, Eric started an internship at Performance which grew into a part time position.

In May of 2012, Eric became the Flight Training Manager. As the Flight Training Manager, Eric helps others understand the advantages of learning to fly at Performance Aircraft. Eric enjoys coordinating events for the Performance Pilot Club including seminars, local tours, and social events. He is also the Testing Center Supervisor for the PSI Testing Center onsite.

In his free time, Eric enjoys spending time with family and friends, trap shooting, and (of course) flying.

John Learned

Chief Flight Instructor/CSIP

$88/hr. club | $98/hr. walk-in | $625/day

John initially joined Performance Aircraft in 2013 as a Certified Flight Instructor and was promoted to Chief Flight Instructor/Listings Architect in 2016.

Always passionate about aviation, John joined the local Civil Air Patrol in Wisconsin and began his flight training in a Cessna 172 when he was fifteen. He soloed the day after his sixteenth birthday and completed his Private Pilot certificate the following summer.

John studied aviation flight and maintenance at Andrews University in southwestern Michigan, where he obtained his airframe and powerplant certificates, commercial pilot single and multi-engine certificates, instrument instructor rating, and multi-engine instructor rating. Prior to joining Performance Aircraft full-time, John also worked as an A&P mechanic for Silverhawk Aviation.

John received his CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot) certification in 2015 and has since helped dozens of individuals with their Cirrus-related flying needs.

In his free time, John enjoys camping, rock climbing, and biking.

Evan Reiman

Aircraft Sales Associate/Certified Flight Instructor

$78/hr. club | $88/hr. walk-in | $550/day

Evan began his career with Performance Aircraft in 2016 as an Aircraft Sales Assistant after completing a sales internship with the company. In his role an Aircraft Sales Assistant/Listing Architect, Evan brings with him a strong passion for aviation and a background as an experienced pilot.

Evan studied Air Transport Administration at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and graduated in May 2017.

Prior to working at Performance Aircraft, Evan worked as a flight instructor in the Omaha, NE area helping people achieve their flying goals.

Evan has his Certified Flight Instructor Certificate and enjoys flying any chance he can get. Evan’s hobbies (outside of flying) include computers, photography, and spending time with his friends and family.

Greg Love

Certified Flight Instructor

$68/hr. club | $78/hr. walk-in | $495/day

Aviation has been an enjoyable and challenging career for me since 1967. Flying allowed me to complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I have been fortunate to fly airliners and military aircraft. I have an ATP (Airline Transport Pilot Certificate).

I am a Gold Seal Flight Instructor who is certified to teach Instrument ratings (CFII) and Multi Engine (MEI).  I am also an Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI).

I enjoy working with students at Performance Aircraft on a part time basis, and I hope to promote aviation to all interested future aviators.

Caleb Ullman

Certified Flight Instructor/Listings Architect

$68/hr. club | $78/hr. walk-in | $495/day

Caleb’s passion for flying was kindled at a young age. Some of his fondest memories are attending airshows and dreaming about being able to fly. In the fall of 2014, Caleb was able to start working towards his dreams of being a pilot when he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha as a student in the Aviation Institute, where he obtained all of his ratings.

Caleb began his career with Performance Aircraft in 2016 with the desire to help people achieve their goals in aviation. His attention to detail and strong work ethic are great assets that help the company go above and beyond in serving its customers.

Caleb Majored in Aviation with a concentration in Professional Flight at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and graduated with his degree in May 2017.

Caleb enjoys flying and has a great passion for aircraft and aviation. His hobbies camping, fishing, and just about anything outdoors. He enjoys riding his motorcycle and loves to experience new things.

Zach Friesen

Aircraft Sales Assistant

Zach began his journey with Performance Aircraft as a Sales Assistant in 2018. With a family background in the Air Force, his genuine passion for aviation developed at a young age when he took his first step onto an airplane. The feeling of flight was an experience that he’d never forget.

Zach is currently completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. His education has provided him with valuable business and design skills, which he is excited to utilize within the aviation industry. He can’t wait to help inspire and enable aviation dreams while at the same time, accomplishing his own.

In his free time, Zach enjoys being active, reading, and spending quality time with his friends and family.

Sarah Heckathorn

Controller

Sarah has been responsible for the company’s accounting since Performance Aircraft was founded in 2004.

In addition to working at Performance Aircraft, Sarah has also been a registered nurse since 2001, serving as labor and delivery nurse for over 10 years.

Whether she is taking care of a patient, communicating with a customer, or assisting with financial decisions for Performance Aircraft, Sarah brings a deep commitment to ensuring every individual receives an outstanding level of care.

Since marrying Bill in 1998, Sarah has grown to avidly enjoy flying and aviation. Recently, Sarah and Bill took their three daughters (Molly, Jenna, and Jacie) in one of their aircraft for a fun family getaway to Branson, Missouri.

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys reading, volunteering at school, and spending time with family.

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