Challenger Aviation’s leadership team is made up of key individuals to serve the needs of our customer base. Each aviation professional brings a unique set of skills, a whatever it takes attitude, and a vast knowledge of the industry to serve our clients.


Mike Challenger - Owner

Mike Challenger is the owner and founder of Challenger Aviation Services. He has been responsible for all aspects of the organization since it was established including implementing clear policies and procedures, sound financial decision making, and oversight of day to day operations. He has experience with light to heavy maintenance, inspections, and repair to multiple types of aircraft including Cessna Citation, Beechcraft, Falcon, Gulfstream, Embraer and Bombardier. Mike has directed the mission, vision, and culture of Challenger Aviation to establish an excellent reputation nationwide.

This includes the implementation of a vital sign report for financial analysis, hiring personnel that enhance the vision and culture of the company, and continuing to develop and enhance the growth of the organization. Other highlights of Mike’s career include leading his team to develop cloud based scalable programs which allow the company to be managed remotely to facilitate expansion, leading a team to write and implement Challenger Aviation’s own FAA certified Repair Station Manual, and to assist the team with vendor and customer negotiations.

Joe Rank – Maintenance Controller

Joe began aviation work in the US Army in 1988 working on Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopters and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters. After serving in the military he acquired an A&P license and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Aviation Management. Joe has worked on various aircraft under FAA part 91, 135 and 121 operators including Mu-2’s, J-31, Beech 1900, ATR’s, and Embraer 120, 135, and 145 aircraft. He has over 18 years of experience working in engineering/maintenance control positions with 121 and 135 operators. Over his career he has worked on a wide variety of aircraft from turbo props to large business jets to regional jets.

Garry Hammitt – Parts Manager

Garry has worked in the aviation industry for over 20 years as an A&P certified mechanic. Over his time in the industry he began working on the line crew. Since then he has also served as an airframe mechanic, hose shop manager, and parts manager.

Paula Zandstra – Lead Mechanic

Paula is an A&P certified mechanic. She has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Technology from Purdue University. Some highlights of her career include over 7 years with Bombardier as a lead mechanic and playing a key role in the startup of the Houston location Bombardier MRP truck. Paula also served as a lead mechanic for a 135 Charter Company. She has over 12 years of heavy maintenance experience and over 3 years of AOG maintenance experience. Paula is also factory trained on various airframes ad systems and has been the recipient of many FAA AMT Ruby awards for training.