At Hartzell, we manufacture propellers but our top priority is safety and quality. To provide the highest level of service to our customers around the world, we’ve assembled a global network of Hartzell Recommended Service Facilities (RSF), made up of independent propeller shops that meet our rigorous standards for excellence. One of these dedicated shops is Aviation Propellers, Inc. We recently spoke with their team about their story and what it takes to become a part of Hartzell’s elite group of prop shops.
Aviation Propellers, Inc. (API) was founded by Paul Gaither in 1970. After receiving FAA approval, the prop shop began serving South Florida and the Bahamas and soon grew into one of the largest propeller overhaul and service facilities in the Southeastern United States. Today, Paul’s children, Tom, Tim, and Barbara operate the family business.
Strategically located in Opa-locka, Florida, accessible by air at Opa-locka Airport (OPF), the prop shop prides itself on providing affordable overhaul and repair services to a variety of aircraft worldwide. “In terms of the aircraft we can service, we run the gamut,” said Jason Gato, Chief Inspector at API. “We can go from a J-3 cub all the way up to a C-130 Hercules. Lately, our biggest flow of work has been turboprops, mostly general aviation and executive aviation aircraft.”
Along with supporting local customers, the prop shop services propellers for owners and pilots around the world. “We’ve always dropped everything to help customers wherever they are,” said Tom Gaither, Vice President of API. “We’ve been in over 40 countries in our nearly 50 years of business. It’s something we hang our hat on because a lot of prop shops don’t do that.”
As a member of Hartzell’s RSF network, API is recognized as providing the highest-quality propeller overhaul and repair work available on Hartzell props.
“We’re proud to be a Hartzell RSF,” said Gaither. “Partnering with Hartzell has improved our processes and the way we do business by leaps and bounds. The level of quality and service we’re able to provide our customers is a direct result of their partnership with us.”
One major advantage of becoming an RSF is the opportunity to learn from Hartzell’s expert staff, said Gaither. “They have an extensive auditing process that has helped us improve our procedures and ensures we’re maintaining Hartzell’s high standards. It’s something that no other propeller manufacturer offers. Hartzell is the only one helping to actively improve our day-to-day business.”
According to Gaither, every propeller technician at API has received Hartzell’s factory training. “We take our relationship with Hartzell very seriously, which is why we have a complete staff of Hartzell factory-trained technicians. My father always said, ‘If you think training is expensive, you should see what ignorance costs.’ It’s well worth it to invest in ongoing training.”
With a wealth of experience in aviation maintenance and a steadfast dedication to quality, training, and safety, Aviation Propellers, Inc. has earned a place among a proud group of aircraft service facilities around the world.
Visit the Aviation Propellers, Inc. website for more information.
Learn more about the high standards of Hartzell’s Recommended Service Facilities and find one near you.