Committed to the best customer service in the business
800•903•8402 — 954•771•0411— 954•334•2393
Premier’s maintenance shop provides owners of piston and light turboprop aircraft with all their routine maintenance, repair, equipment installation and upgrade/retrofit services. We are a:
We serve customers from all over the United States and are one of the few maintenance and repair shops with a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification, meaning we can maintain and repair European-registered aircraft that are flown in the US.
Our mission is clear: to schedule you promptly, get your work done efficiently, communicate regularly, and get you back in the air safely. We’ll even pick up and deliver your aircraft if your schedule doesn’t permit you to bring it here yourself.
When you bring your airplane to Premier, you are entrusting the safety of your passengers and the integrity of your investment to one of the most highly-trained and experienced groups of maintenance professionals in the country. Our 11 A&P mechanics (four of whom are also FAA Inspectors), include military-trained mechanics and graduates of some of the nation’s top aviation maintenance schools.
Why use Premier Aircraft Service? In a word, for our people – their expertise, their years of experience, and their attitude.
Unlike most small maintenance shops, we send our mechanics to specialized factory training courses from aircraft and avionics manufacturers like Cessna, Diamond, Mooney, Piper, Austro, Continental/Centurion, Lycoming, Allison, Garmin, King, AmSafe and Monroy. Our 11 mechanics have 150+ years of collective experience, meaning a lot of expertise and brainpower if your problem is complicated or difficult to diagnose. We constantly monitor our customer satisfaction through an anonymous customer satisfaction survey. Ninety-eight percent of our customers will come back and recommend us to another pilot.
Premier occupies 21,000 square feet of maintenance, showroom and office space in three hangars at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE). Hangar 13 and 14 house our modern maintenance facilities.
Hangar 15 houses our aircraft showroom. In addition to maintenance, Premier is the exclusive dealer for new Mooney and Diamond aircraft in the Southeastern US, and maintains a constantly-refreshing inventory of all major brands of used aircraft .
Many customers take the family on vacation while leaving their plane for an annual or 100-hour at Premier. In addition to Fort Lauderdale’s famous beaches, restaurants, shopping and nightlife, Premier is a day trip away from the Florida Keys, Miami, Palm Beach, Naples/Gulf coast and famous attractions like Disney World, the Miami Seaquarium, Lion Country African Safari, “swimming with the dolphins” parks and alligator-watching in the Everglades – just to name a few favorites!
Fred Ahles, President and Founding Partner of Premier Aircraft Sales, is a 51-year veteran of aviation who began his career washing planes at a sod strip in Michigan. He has clocked over 12,000 hours as pilot in command, and holds an impressive array of pilot credentials, including Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates; single, multi-engine and instrument ratings, and a seaplane rating. Fred has sold more Piper M-class aircraft (Meridians, Matrix’s and Malibus) than anyone, and over the years has been a dealer for Cessna, Diamond, Mooney and Piper aircraft. He is extremely proud of the people assembled at Premier and the superb customer service culture Premier offers. Premier Aircraft Sales is the second aircraft sales and maintenance operation he founded; the first was Grosse Ile Flight Service, which also offered flight training, air charter and air ambulance services. When not selling aircraft, Fred is an avid golfer who frequents courses in Florida and North Carolina, where he has a summer home in a fly-in community.
Here’s what his customers say:
“I just finished my purchase experience with Premier Aircraft Sales (PAS) and Fred Ahles. I must say, it was, by far, the best experience I have had purchasing any major asset. Fred and the team went far above and beyond normal and beyond what was required to make the transaction smooth, fair, and effortless for us. Job well done!” Brad C.
“Great job getting the avionics work done and me flying in time for the big trip with the kids! I can't believe you did it, Fred!” Paul R.
“I felt that Fred was trustworthy, honest, and up-front in our dealings.” Gian N.
“My experience with Fred was very good! I would buy again from Premier.” Raymond B.
“Fred is a great guy!” Jeffrey J.
Barry Rutheiser, Regional Sales Manager, is a 35-year veteran of aviation. A private pilot with an instrument rating, he has clocked over 4,000 hours as pilot in command. During his 20 years in the aircraft sales profession, he has sold dozens of piston singles including Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft and Mooney aircraft. As the owner of 17 aircraft over the years, Barry has a unique ability to discuss aircraft purchases and aircraft ownership from the perspective of a buyer/owner himself. His most recent aircraft was an immaculate, vintage Cessna 150, in which he enjoyed taking friends for a weekend spin down the coast of sunny South Florida.
What his customers say:
“We believed from the beginning we were dealing with an organization and individual that would treat us fairly and deal with us with integrity…thank you for your candor, commujication and willingness to work with us on scheduling.” Steve H., Bob Jones University
“Barry is a delight to deal with.” Dan F.
Art Spengler, Vice President for Operations and a founding partner of Premier, is a 35-year veteran of aviation who has clocked over 14,000 hours as pilot in command. He holds an impressive array of pilot credentials, with Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates, single and multi-engine land ratings, a seaplane rating, and a type rating in the BE20000S Beechcraft Starship. Highly-experienced in selling Beechcraft, Cessna, Diamond, Piper and Mooney aircraft, he has significant expertise with twins and diesel engine aircraft. He also provides corporate aircraft appraisal, acquisition and management services.
What his customers say:
“We were quite pleased with the professionalism and the camaraderie exhibited during the purchase and annual inspection.”
“The entire process was professional, everyone knew their jobs well and everyone treated us like a valued customer.”
Vice President Sales
Jeff Owen is a seasoned general aviation sales and marketing professional with over 35 years of experience in aircraft manufacturing, sales, marketing and business development. As Vice President of Piston Sales at Premier, he provides leadership to the sales team. Owen says “I am privileged to share my passion along with the excitement, fun, safety and convenience that a general aviation airplane can offer. Matching that with Premier’s integrity, honesty, and unconditional commitment our customer's satisfaction is an unbeatable combination.”
Owen has over 5,000 hours flight experience and holds a Private Pilot certificate with multi engine and instrument ratings. Before joining Premier more than a decade ago, he was Executive Vice President and Sales Manager for Diamond Aircraft Industries North America, Cessna Aircraft Dealer Development & CPC Manager, Cessna District Sales Manager, and a former licensed aviation insurance broker.
Here’s what his customers say:
“I highly recommend Mr. Jeff Owen as a pilot and aircraft salesman, and also as a great person. I've known Jeff and done business with him for nearly 20 years and he is always courteous and friendly with everyone he meets and does business with. He is highly respected in the aviation industry and many seek him out for advice and guidance in the aircraft purchasing process.” Steve C. Atlanta, Georgia
“You were right. The Diamond is a great plane and I appreciate all the guidance and help you and your company provided me. You made buying an airplane unbelievable easy.” Eduardo A. Miami, FL.
“Jeff is a great customer advocate. He listened to my flight profile needs and came up with a genuinely unique solution. During and after the after the refurbishment of my DA42, Jeff made sure everything came together as needed. He will be the first person I call the next time I am in the market for an airplane.” Jon W. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
“The experience of working with you could not have been better. You are knowledgeable, professional and were fantastic throughout the complex issues of buying a plane and your advice was spot on. It is not often in this day and age to actually work with people that know what they are doing and understand their product and the industry the way that you do. I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and hope that we can work together in the future on the next plane. If you need references, please send them my way.” Stephen R. Provo, Utah
“When it comes to the sale and service of light aircraft, there's simply no one better than Jeff.” Bradford K. Lighthouse Point, Florida
“It is doubtful that there is anyone in the United States with more knowledge of Diamond aircraft and the market than Jeff. I can't speak highly enough of him. If you are considering the purchase of a Diamond, consider him your first and last stop. When you meet him, you won't need to go anywhere else. I know that Jeff has experience in many other brands and models of aircraft as well. My experience with him has been with Diamond, but you will get the same level of knowledge and service regardless of what you are buying.” Jim S. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Vice President Marketing
Cathy Ahles, Vice President for Marketing and Business Development at Premier, is a practitioner, consultant and educator in public relations and marketing communications. During her 40-year career, she has developed specialties in marketing and PR for aviation, higher education and non-profit organizations. At Premier she is responsible for global marketing, brand management and public relations. As a consultant for several major manufacturers and an aviation startup business, she has provided market research, analysis and brand strategy expertise to aviation clients.
Prior to joining Premier, she enjoyed an eight-year appointment as associate professor and Chair of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. Earlier in her career, she was President of Durocher • Dixson • Werba Public and Financial Relations, where one of her specialties was the aviation sector. Earlier, she was Vice President of College Relations at Macomb Community College in metro Detroit, Michigan.
Among some 35 industry awards she has won two Silver Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America for a program that raised $90 million in public funds for higher education. Ahles has been National Secretary of the Public Relations Society of America and President of both the Detroit and Greater Fort Lauderdale chapters of PRSA.
Ahles holds a private pilot certificate with single engine land and sea ratings. She has an MBA from Michigan State University and a BS in English Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University. She is an avid wildlife and aircraft photographer; her photography of a renovated Piper Dakota was featured on the cover and inside the April 2018 issue of Piper Flyer magazine.