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


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 Nebraskans to enjoy the benefits of flight through top quality, safety first pilot training, Bill expanded Performance Aircraft in 2006 by opening a Cessna Pilot Center. Located inside Silverhawk Aviation 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.

Mike Lempke

Aircraft Sales Consultant

Mike joined Performance Aircraft in 2015, bringing with him over a decade of sales management experience in the airline and travel management industries. Mike’s lifelong passion for aviation and flying and his extensive background as a senior sales and service leader help him effectively assist customers with buying and selling aircraft.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute, Mike is skilled in creating, negotiating, and facilitating sales contracts, and he enjoys helping our customers achieve their aircraft ownership goals.

Prior to joining our team, Mike managed multiple sales and business development teams, excelling at helping his teams identify and meet their customer’s needs.

Mike has his Private Pilot License and enjoys flying a variety of aircraft. His interests include aviation, traveling, Husker football, global mission work, and spending time with his wife and four children.

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.

Stacey Allison

Aircraft Sales Consultant

In 2010, Performance Aircraft added Stacey Allison to assist with aircraft sales. Stacey’s background in sales, planning, and client/project management has contributed to the advancement of Performance Aircraft’s brokerage service.

Stacey loves engaging with aircraft owners and visiting about how Performance Aircraft can assist them with their goals. With her attention to detail and her expertise in customer service, she takes great pride in helping buyers and sellers and providing a positive experience.

Prior to joining Performance Aircraft, Stacey was involved in the growth and development of a community youth program, ministry, small business, and a national health care consulting firm. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Human Services Administration with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising from Hastings College.

Stacey and her husband Tom love spending time with their son Reid, visiting family, and cheering on the Huskers.

Katie Ulrich

Director of Operations and Marketing

Katie joined Performance Aircraft in 2014, bringing with her over a decade of experience in marketing, sales, and business management. With a bachelor’s degree in communications and an extensive background implementing sales and marketing growth strategies, Katie works actively to enhance our client’s success buying or selling their aircraft.

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

Whether they are interested in learning to fly, owning their first aircraft, or finding the right buyer for their prized possession, Katie’s skills in marketing and business development help us better promote 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.

John Learned

Listings Architect/Chief Flight Instructor

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.

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

Evan Reiman

Aircraft Sales Assistant/Listings Architect

Evan began his career with Performance Aircraft in May of 2016 as an intern for Aircraft Sales. Upon completing his internship, Evan joined the company part time as an Aircraft Sales Assistant/Listing Architect, bringing with him a strong passion for aviation and a background as an experienced pilot.

Evan is currently studying Air Transport Administration at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, planning to graduate 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.

Caleb Ullman

Listings Architect

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 is currently Majoring in Aviation with a concentration in Professional Flight at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, planning to graduate 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.

James Hilliard

Listings Architect

In November 2012, James came back to Performance Aircraft to play a key role in servicing aircraft sales clients. James was instrumental in the training of local clients when he served as the Chief Flight Instructor at Performance Aircraft from 2007 to 2011. He then flew for a commuter airline for a year before coming back to Nebraska.

With his background in flight instruction and his experience as an airline pilot, James has helped Performance Aircraft raise the bar in their presentation of aircraft they represent.

James has been a pilot since 2003 and has over 4000 flight hours in dozens of different aircraft from vintage tail wheels to the most modern glass cockpits. James holds a Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate and is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP). He has a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology from Walla Walla University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from Union College.

James and his wife Vivian are always up for an adventure. They love to travel, and James is an avid skydiver.

Brette Petersen

Office Assistant

As the Office Assistant, Brette serves our customers by connecting them with the specialized Aircraft Sales Representatives best suited for their needs. She also supports Flight Training customers with scheduling, FAA testing, and invoicing.

Brette received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2015, and has a particular love for opera. She intends to pursue further education and a career in the field of Fine Arts Management. Before joining Performance Aircraft, Brette acquired several years of experience in customer service and is excited to assist all our clients with a helpful smile! She has a knack for organizing and an eye for detail.

In her free time, Brette enjoys attending concerts, extensive traveling, and spending time with her family.

Joe Butt

Market Research Specialist

Joe is the developer and daily manager of Performance Aircraft’s exclusive Market Research Database. This database houses a vast amount of current and historical aircraft market information that is useful in maximizing our client’s results and helping them make confident buying and selling decisions. Joe also assists in creating our detailed aircraft listings.

In addition to working in aircraft sales, Joe is also a charter pilot at Silverhawk Aviation. Joe has his instrument, commercial, and flight instructor certificates, as well as a Bachelor degree in Business Supervision from Peru State.Joe likes to boat, camp, and vacation at Disney World with his wife, Traci, and his sons, Garrett and Grant.

Sarah Heckathorn


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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