Happy Traveler Owner


Dear Sally,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing today to express my sincere gratitude for the expert work you and the entire team at Excel-Air did on the right wing tank of my ‘72 AA-5 Traveler back in April 2022. Since the repair, the tank has been working perfectly, and I've enjoyed 59 worry-free flight hours in the past year. 

I want to personally thank you, John and the entire team for your hard work, expertise, and attention to detail. It is clear that you take pride in your work, and it certainly shows. I was impressed with the level of care and professionalism that went into repairing my Grumman.

Please extend my gratitude to the entire team! I cannot express enough how impressed and satisfied I am with the work you all did. Thanks again and have an enjoyable summer.

Best regards,




Mark, from Florida



Just wanted to thank you again for taking care of my Tiger. The plane flew great. Tell Derek the prop balance was perfect. The plane was smooth before, but extremely smooth now! You have a very good crew that I am sure you are very proud of.

Mark- Florida

August 2021


Joel, from Florida


  Excel-Air Services, Inc.

  John Sjaardema

Hello John, I wanted to drop you this note with your payment. I wanted to tell you what a pleasure it was to work with you and your Team. I was very impressed with the way you completed my Pre-Buy Inspection, which turned into an Annual for which we needed several parts to finish. The fact you made it happen within my time constraints was amazing as I have been an aircraft owner for several years and that kind of service rarely happens.

I would certainly recommend Excel-Air to anyone that needs you. I look forward to the next time I need your services.




Erin and Crew, from Alabama


Dear Excel Team,

We just really want to thank you guys for your expert work on the plane. It's very assuring to have people who clearly know these planes inside out. We are much more confident with all the systems, knowing that we had true Grumman gurus inspect everything. We also really appreciate you letting us do the owner assisted annual - it is really cool to learn how everything fits together.  Your shop is just fantastic. And thank you so much for cleaning the plane too! The paint hasn't looked so good in years. 

Erin & crew



Mark Reardon, Manitowoc, Wisconsin


(Email to Jasper County Commissioners, Jasper County Airport, and Excel-Air)


My name is Mark Reardon. I recently had an aircraft annual done at Excel-Air Services. They do quality work and are experts in the type of aircraft that I fly.

Getting back to pick up my plane proved to be a bit of challenge.  Your Airport Manager, Ray Seif was good enough to pick me up at the train station after hours. This was after more than an hour train delay. This was on his own time out of the goodness of his heart. I think it goes beyond the call of duty, and I felt that the County should be aware of the exceptional effort made by Ray in support of the Airport community.

Thank you Ray, and thank you John and all the crew at Excel-Air.

Yours truly,

Mark Reardon


Tony Gaspar , Paso Robles, California

On AirNav.com :

I bought a Grumman Cheetah in Chicago a week ago and flew with the seller to KRZL to have John at Excel Air Service do an owner assist annual. From the minute I landed at RZL I could not have asked for better service. John had one of his pilots fly the seller of the plane back to Chicago in one of Excels planes and was very reasonable on the cost. John and his crew at Excel are well known for their service and expertise. They deserve all of the credit they get. Take your plane to them...You won't be disappointed. Brad, the airport manager is equally great. He made sure I knew where all of the hotels and restaurants were and gave me a crew car for 3 days! I would stop there in the future just to say hi.... They are all that nice and professional.

On the Grumman Gang Mailings:

Hi Gang, Just wanted to give you all a little follow up on my search for a "pristine IFR Tiger with low hours and etc. all for $40,000". Well, after scouring the country and fielding countless calls and emails from Tiger owners. I discovered that you were all right! I didn't stand a chance at my price range. Thanks for at least being polite about it! So, I bought a beautiful low time engine, IFR Cheetah. I took delivery in Chicago 10 days ago and had Excel Air Services in Rensselaer, Indiana do an owner assist annual during the historic cold spell. John and his crew are true professionals. After 2 days doing the annual with Excel's amazing staff and another day waiting for the weather to clear I embarked on the solo flight to California. 7 hours(35knt headwind) to Stillwater Ok. One day weather delay. 2 hour flight to Amarillo, TX. 2 day weather delay. 8 hour flight to Paso Robles, California. Total distance 1780 nmiles, flying time 17 hours and now I have 147 hours as a pilot! See you all at the next fly in N9JS!!

Tony Gaspar N9JS


Mark & Lisa Sletten, Missouri

We took N6044L to Excel-Air based on the reputation they've earned within the Grumman community.  John Sjaardema and his staff are very committed to their customer's satisfaction.  From the first walk around our aircraft to
the sign-off in the logs, we felt that our baby was in good hands.  He's never made a repair without consulting us; we've never been surprised by our bill.  John's knowledge, skill and attitude generate an uncommon level of
trust in both him and his work--if he says it needs to be fixed you can be sure it does.  If you've forgotten what real customer service is like, go see the folks at Excel-Air!


Steve Tuttle, Michigan, Mooney N56338

Part of  Excel's charm is the Midwest way of talking out options to solve a problem, discussing alternatives, and then doing the job the way it was agreed to.   John and Excel became my Grumman guys when I attended one of his maintenance seminars with my 92 AG5B.    At the subsequent annual inspection, John carefully read my pristine logs, made some notes, and then told me that there were nine items that probably needed to be fixed because they had never been addressed in the logs.   We walked out to the plane, I flipped up the rear seat to gain access to the flap motor, and the problem was exactly as John predicted.  I started to walk away and John asked if I wanted to look at the other eight items.  I said "No John, just fix them".   and a relationship was born.
When it was time to sell the AG5B, one of John’s valued customers had seen the plane previously and wanted it.   It got sold, to the same fellow.   We both knew and trusted John, so 90% of our problem was solved.   We haggled a little on price and the deal was consummated.   I still see that plane, because John still works on it.
I bought a Mooney 201 and I still fly it 210 NM each way with a chase plane to have John do the annuals and major repairs.   When you finally find someone you like, respect, and trust, you keep them.    John is the kind of guy who after you talk to him for about 10 minutes you wish was your brother in law......(instead of the one you have)


George Kitchens, Huntsville, AL

Excel-Air Services is a first-rate, thoroughly professional operation. You’ll be more than pleased with its work.
John Sjaardema and his team did a pre-buy inspection on a ’76 Cheetah I eventually purchased. Later Excel-Air did a complete overhaul of my O-320 engine; installed the 160 HP STC, an EI 5-Channel engine monitoring system; installed ADC’s Oil Filtration System and new wingtip strobes; and installed new seat belts and shoulder harnesses for the front seats. In every step of the work in progress, John and his team kept me informed as to the work and a number of technical issues he felt I should be aware of. As a former Army maintenance officer and helicopter maintenance test pilot I know top-quality, first-rate work when I see it.  I left Excel-Air’s facility with my aircraft, confident that the work completed was absolutely the very best.


Chris Milford, MEI, CFII, Cessna Owner, Piper Owner

Fair, Honest, and hard working sum it up for John and Derek. They do everything form light bulbs to engine rebuilds professionally and on time. I've been using Excel-Air Services for over 10 years with  excellent results.


Randy Huizenga, Illinois

If there is one word that I use to describe the service I receive from Excel-Air, that word is: “thorough”!  When John Sjaardema and his crew perform an annual or  pre-sale inspection of an aircraft nothing is overlooked. When it comes to my airplane and my life I want to know that nothing has been left to chance.  
My decision to purchase my 1979 Grumman Cheetah was based upon the results of a pre-sale inspection by Excel-Air.  Not only did I know that I was buying a good airplane, but I also saved money on the purchase because Excel-Air found a few things that needed repair which even the seller had been unaware of!  
There is an old adage that goes; “You get what you pay for”.  When I pay Excel-Air I know that every minute of work that I am paying for has really been spent on my airplane and on keeping me as safe as is possible in the air.


Fritz Parkins Prospect, KY

Excel Air has completed all my major maintenance for past four years. Prior experiences with Grumman maintenance were disappointing. John and company have been very knowledgeable, thorough, honest and informative. Without reservation I can highly recommend their services.


Mike Smith, Former Member Indiana House of Representatives

For many years I have dealt with John and his company. The service is outstanding but more importantly, the honesty and integrity is unparalleled.  In fact, had it not been for John and his associates proven reputation, the investment to build a maintenance facility at Jasper Co Airport would not have happened.
I am proud to have played a minor role in relocating Excelair to Jasper Co airport.
You can count on being treated fairly and with respect.


Sarah Barber-Commercial Pilot, Iowa, Grumman AA5-N321WS

  We have been taking our 1973 Grumman Traveler (N321WS) to John, Derek and Eric at Excel Air Services, since purchasing the airplane in 1999, for all its maintenance, modifications and upgrades.
    One of the nicest benefits of aviation is that you feel you belong to one big family. Going over to Excel Air epitomizes that feeling. John and his colleagues are always so welcoming and accommodating, and we
know that we can trust them to take care of our airplane the same way we do.
    Not only is Excel Air Services' work first class, but they are always available to provide help, information and advice. If you try to call and the phone is engaged, you can bet that the guys are helping a pilot
somewhere. No job is too large, or small, and they are all handled with the utmost professionalism. From leaking fuel tank cover screws, to 337 and STC modifications, to an engine Top-End Overhaul, I have always found Excel Air Services to have the knowledge and skill to handle any job.
    For those of you who are more inclined to get "down and dirty", we have been doing owner-assisted annuals with John and his team since 2000. This is the perfect way to get to know your airplane intimately, while having expert advice and assistance close at hand.
    Here is a list of the maintenance and modifications that we have done at Excel Air:
 a.. Annual Inspections, including AD compliance, (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
 b.. Split Nose Bowl (1999)
 c.. Red Rudder Cap (1999)
 d.. Wheel Pants (1999)
 e.. Aircraft Weighing (1999)
 f.. Replaced Attitude Gyro (2000)
 g.. Whelen STC for belly Strobe (2000)
 h.. Engine Valve Wobble Check (SB 388C) (2000, 2003)
 i.. Small bird impact repair in outer wing section (2001)
 j.. Sensenich Propeller STC (2002)
 k.. Installed new vacuum pump (2002)
 l.. Peterson Aviation STC and 337  for use of  Autogas in the 0-320 HC engine (2003)
 m.. New internal plastic (2003)
 n.. New Nose Strut (for greater prop clearance) (2003)
 o.. Engine Lord Mounts (2003)
 p.. Whelen STC for tail mounted Strobe (2004)
 q.. Concorde STC for sealed battery (2004)
 r.. New windshield and windows (2004)
 s.. Engine Top End Overhaul (2004)
To sum up, we wouldn't take the Traveler anywhere else. John, Derek and Eric
are the nicest people to work with. They have years of experience and
knowledge along with integrity and professionalism. Their work standards and
ethics are second-to-none and above all they are a team you can trust.