Performance Aircraft Celebrates 12 Years in Business
September 2, 2016
It All Began in a Basement
It has officially been 12 years since Owner/Founder Bill Heckathorn started his own company called Performance Aircraft Sales in the basement of his home in Omaha, NE.
Having worked at another company selling new and used Cessna aircraft, Bill wanted to try out a few of his own ideas to improve the buying and selling experience.
A Little History…
Growing up on a farm in South Dakota, Bill learned at a young age to operate and maintain large equipment—all while learning the value of hard work.
Always incredibly enamored with aviation as a child, Bill spent much of his free time in high school building and flying model aircraft. After attending college for a year, Bill returned to farming and married his sweetheart, Sarah, before deciding to finally fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot.
Once he had earned his pilot’s license, Bill became a flight instructor at a college in Brookings, South Dakota. Shortly after, he moved on to manage the FBO in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Bill provided leadership and direction for everything from the flight school to the aircraft rental, pilot services, and aircraft maintenance services.
Bill continued to teach aviation as well. As his experience and knowledge of the aircraft industry grew, so did his love for aviation. More than anything, Bill enjoyed sharing this captivating world with others and enabling them to experience the freedom, achievement, and beauty that comes with flight.
Performance Aircraft’s first company slogan was
“Selling Aircraft through Integrity, Innovation, and Knowledge.”
During his first year of business, Bill sold 23 aircraft out of his basement while implementing his ideas and increasing his knowledge of the aircraft market. He started collecting and tracking aircraft market data and soon had a database from which he could pull additional market details not readily available to other brokers.
Opening a Flight Training Center
In 2006, Bill decided to move his office to Lincoln, NE and also open a Cessna Pilot Center. Desiring to minister to the local community and fulfill a need in the area, Bill focused on growing the flight training center, adding aircraft and flight instructors who could help promote and teach aviation locally.
Growth in Aircraft Sales and Flight Training
Throughout its history, Performance Aircraft has continued to add innovative services and recruit talented individuals to assist with aircraft sales and flight training. From expanding its extensive market research to creating some of the most informative and attractive aircraft listings in the industry, the company has remained at the forefront of innovation and service year after year.
Now employing a team of experts that includes experienced aircraft consultants, marketing/advertising specialists, market research experts, aircraft relocation and delivery agents, professional aircraft photographers, and administrative personel, Performance Aircraft has become one of the most successful aircraft sales companies in North America, selling a variety of high quality owner flown piston aircraft. The company’s Flight Training Center is one of the largest in the Midwest, employing a fleet of modern aircraft and a team of full-time flight instructors.
With record sales each year since 2010, Performance Aircraft has laid groundwork for continued growth in the coming years—all while remaining focused on fulfilling its original promise of “selling aircraft through integrity, innovation, and knowledge.”
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