Professionally managed maintenance

for owner-flown aircraft

Savvy's phenomenal team

Savvy has assembled the most experienced, seasoned and talented team of general aviation maintenance experts in the industry:

  • SAMM CEO Mike BuschMike Busch A&P/IA (founder/CEO) is a renowned aviation writer, teacher, aviation type club tech rep, aircraft owner advocate, and entrepreneur. For more than two decades, Mike has been assisting aircraft owners with their maintenance problems through his work with EAA, AOPA, the Cessna Pilots Association, the American Bonanza Society, and the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association. He co-founded AVweb in 1995 and served as its editor-in-chief for more than 7 years. Mike was honored by the FAA as “National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year” for 2008.
  • Tony Barrell A&P/IA  (account manager)  has been involved in GA maintenance for nearly 30 years. Before joining Savvy, Tony was employed by Ohio State University Airport at their superb maintenance facility for 25 years, and managed the shop for 15 years. He has experience maintaining a broad range of GA airplanes, including extensive experience with Cirrus aircraft, having built his shop at OSU into the finest Cirrus Service Center in the region.
  • Clay Caessens A&P (avionics guru) owned and operated Blue Angel Aviation & Avionics in Pensacola, Florida, the premier avionics repair station in the Florida panhandle for almost 20 years. Clay has decades of experience troubleshooting, repairing and installing a broad range of avionics in both legacy and technically advanced aircraft. He is factory trained and qualified on glass cockpit systems from Aspen, Avidyne, Bendix-King and Garmin (among others).
  • Tom Cooper A&P/IA (account manager) has been maintaining GA aircraft for over 20 years. Tom served as Director of Maintenance of Southeast Aero Services, a large Cirrus Service Center in St. Augustine, Florida. He now owns and operates Mustang Aero Corp. in DeLand, Florida.
  • Isaiah Daw A&P/IA (account manager) is one of the most knowledgeable Cirrus maintenance experts in the US. He worked for Cirrus Aircraft as a regional technical support manager, and subsequently ran a large Part 145 Cirrus Authorized Service Center (Clear Star at Addison and Denton, Texas) as its general manager and director of maintenance before founding his own maintenance facility Dedicated Aircraft Work at Dallas Executive Airport [KRBD] in Dallas, Texas.
  • Al Hawthorne A&P/IA (account manager) has more than two decades of GA maintenance experience. Before joining the Savvy team, Al served as Director of Maintenance for Woodland Aviation, a large Beech, Cessna and Cirrus service center in Northern California, and also as northwest regional technical support manager for Cirrus Aircraft.
  • Jeff Iskierka A&P/IA (technical director) spent a decade as Director of Maintenance of Twin Cities Aviation in Minneapolis before joining Savvy on a full-time basis as its most senior account manager, and then being promoted to director of technical services. Jeff is a nationally known Cirrus expert, having been immersed in Cirrus maintenance since 1999.
  • Phil Kirkham A&P/IA (account manager) owns and operates a Coastal Valley Aviation in California, has three decades of GA maintenance experience, and is a nationally known expert on Beech, Cessna, Cirrus, Mooney and Piper maintenance.
  • Paul New A&P/IA (account manager) owns and operates Tennessee Aircraft Services, serves as a technical representative and instructor for the Cessna Pilots Association, and is a nationally known maintenance expert specializing in structural repair. He is factory trained on the Columbia/Cessna 300/350/400 and G-1000. Paul is the FAA’s “National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year” honoree for 2007, and is an FAA-designated airworthiness representative (DAR).
  • Eric Svelmoe A&P/IA (account manager) has been active in aviation maintenance for 30 years, and has experience maintaining a broad range of GA aircraft. Prior to joining Savvy, Eric served as chief inspector for a large Cirrus Service Center in Oregon, and is factory trained in all aspects of Cirrus maintenance. He is a commercial, instrument-rated pilot for both single and multiengine airplanes, and also a CFI.
  • Steve Vander Valk A&P/IA (account manager) owns and operates Paragon Aircraft Services Inc. in Caldwell, N.J., a full-service maintenance facility specializing in Cessna and Cirrus aircraft. Steve has more than three decades of wide-ranging GA maintenance experience on everthing from piston singles to turboprops and light bizjets.

Assisting this incomparable group of aviation maintenance technicians is Savvy's superb support staff:

  • Ann Devers (manager of operations) is in charge of the non-technical aspects of Savvy's maintenance management services, including aircraft maintenance records, client and service center support services, contracts, insurance, and numerous other administrative responsibilities.
  •  Joe Godfrey (engine data analyst) provides engine monitor data analysis to SavvyMx clients. Joe is a multi-talented -- composer, musician, educator, writer, pilot and aircraft owner -- and is academic director of the Audio Production and Web Design & Interactive Media programs at the Art Institute of California in San Diego.
  •  Doug Griffith, Attorney at Law (corporate counsel) handles Savvy's legal affairs, including risk management, contractual matters, and insurance. Doug holds both a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School. He has a long history practicing aviation law, with a special emphasis on maintenance-related litigation.
  •  Adam Hall (senior engine data analyst) heads up Savvy's team of engine monitor data analysts for both SavvyMx clients and SavvyAnalysis Pro subscribers. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, specializing in microbiology and genetics. Adam is a biotechnology research associate at the renowned J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego. He's also an active instrument-rated private pilot.
  •  Alex Madison (engine data analyst) provides engine monitor data analysis to SavvyAnalysis Pro subscribers. Alex is a private pilot and an aeronatical engineer who got his engineering degree at the University of Texas at Austin (where he was head of the UT Flying Club) and is presently working at The Boeing Company in Seattle.
  •  Adam Smith (VP Business Development) is responsible both for marketing Savvy's current business activities and masterminding its new business initiatives. Adam joined Savvy after a 14-year stint in top management of EAA and two years as a Senior VP at AOPA. His aviation credentials also include being a distinguished aviation museum curator and aviation historian, as well as being a longtime GA pilot, aircraft owner, and ebullient enthusiast about pretty much anything involving aviation.
  •  Chris Wrather Ph.D./A&P (director of Savvy/manager of SavvyAnalysis) is a member of Savvy's board of directors, and serves as chief business adviser and counselor to CEO Mike Busch. Chris is responsible both for analyzing and managing Savvy's current business operations and for helping guide its future business activities. He also serves as project manager for the engine monitor data analysis program. Chris has decades of  experience in top management roles and major corporate board positions. He holds a doctorate in Operations Research and is a longtime pilot, aircraft owner and A&P mechanic.

There is simply no other general aviation maintenance organization capable of bringing this amount of experience and expertise to the maintenance of owner-flown general aviation aircraft.

Next: Frequently-asked questions.

Our clients say...

"The inoperative wing flaps on my Cirrus SR22 were solved by the $35 relay that my Savvy account manager Tom Cooper suggested, instead of the $1,500 actuator that was the Service Center's proposed solution. The Service Center personnel are very nice, and were very happy to have Tom's input. Me too!"Peter Beyer

"Working with the Savvy team is great! Makes my life much easier. (Feel free to quote me.)" —Harvey Rock

"Less than two weeks after I signed up for Savvy, I had an issue that stranded my PA-32 at a remote airport on Thanksgiving weekend. Within hours of posting pictures, my Savvy account manager Paul New had diagnosed the problem and recommended a repair. Paul communicated with the local mechanic, and researched needed part numbers that turned a possible $1,000 repair into a $300 one, nearly paying for my entire annual Savvy management fee. If you feel at a disadvantage when talking to A&Ps (like I always did), you need Savvy today!"Peter March

"The Savvy program has given me great peace of mind over the past year. I have said on COPA several times that Savvy is the best bargain in aviation (an area not known for bargains). Going through maintenance issues with Savvy has taught me so much about the aircraft that I would have never known had they not been in my corner. There is simply no substitute for having the experience of Tom, Jeff, and Mike looking out for me all the time." —Jack Byrd

"Savvy founder Mike Busch correctly diagnosed my engine issue after reviewing data from my engine monitor, and I had the work performed that Mike had suggested. The original estimate from my Service Center for this work was $1,965.10, but under Savvy's guidance the final invoice came in at just $877.93.  Savvy saved me over $1,000.00 on this one maintenance task alone—more than paying for the $750.00 Savvy management fee for the next 12 months!" —Barry Lerman

"Recently, while on vacation in Montana, my Cessna T210 had an alternator failure. I contacted my Savvy account manager Phil Kirkham, and he took care of the problem with the local repair facility, while I was able to go about my vacation and enjoy myself.  Not only did Savvy save me a bundle and relieve me of all the usual stress and hassle, but also gave me confidence that the plane was being repaired properly by a shop and mechanics I didn’t know. Savvy is worth it’s weight in gold!" —Steve Carvajal

"Huge kudos to the Savvy team! I just came out of annual and they saved me more than $5,000 over my Service Center's original quote. Some the savings was unnecessary work that Savvy advised me to decline, some was excessive charges for labor. My Savvy account manager Jeff Iskierka did a great job of talking to the Service Center manager and persuading him to be more reasonable with his rates. I didn't have to do anything during the whole process; Savvy handled everything. I can't recommend Savvy highly enough!"

"I had a wonderful experience with Savvy as my partner, and saved thousands of dollars in unnecessary work! It was not that my Service Center wanted to rob me, but they needed to be educated as to what work was important and what was not worth doing. Annual inspections used to be stressful events for me; what peace of mind knowing that such knowledgeable people are now guiding my maintenance. This takes all the worry and headache out of the process. Savvy is very reasonably priced, and has been a winner for me!"Rik Vanooteghem DDS MS

"My Savvy account manager Jeff Iskierka handled everything! I got my annual done according to the estimate, with no hassle. It was least expensive annual inspection I've ever had. I'm an experienced aircraft owner, and my biggest gripe has been the variability in cost and quality of maintenance. $750/year is a complete no-brainer to fix that problem. I saved thousands of dollars just in reduced cost for my annual, which is several times more than what I paid Savvy to manage it. I think Savvy is a game changer!"Gordon Feingold

"I love the service offered by Savvy and plan on continuing as a Savvy client for as long as I own an airplane." —Timothy Coomer

"Let me say how very pleased I was in the way Savvy handled my recent Cirrus SR22 pre-purchase examination. I am definitely signing up for Savvy's yearly maintenance management program, as I was so impressed with your service on the pre-buy. My only regret is that I wasn't aware of your services previously for the 2005 Diamond DA40 that I just traded in." —Jay Berkowitz

"The resources available to me through Savvy give me great comfort that the effort and resources expended to maintain my airplane are without a doubt the best investment I could have made. A T210 is not an airplane I want to fly -- especially with employees or family on board -- if it is maintained by a 172 mechanic. The airplane requires a real expert with many years of 210 experience. That's what the Savvy program offers. It is the main reason I am a loyal Savvy subscriber for four years now."Bob Dosser

"The best money I have ever spent in aviation!!!!!! The service is Utopia." —Frank Fotia III

"Once again, Savvy pays for itself in multiples!! Better than my stock portfolio..." —Irvin Sahni, MD

"I can't say enough about Savvy's program, team, and expertise in giving me advice and comfort level when making big (and little) maintenance decisions. You simply can't put a price tag on that!"Kyle Jones

"I received so much more than I expected." —Louis Fielack

"Thanks again for stepping in and saving me from the greedy hands at [the Cessna Service Center]. I figure Savvy probably saved me $40K on this annual." —Pete Van Helden

"I'm very satisfied. Savvy saved me $6,000 on my annual. It's been a pleasure working with you guys. I'm renewing for another year." Jerry Bock MD

"Only an idiot or masochist (or both) could miss the value of what Savvy offers." Jeff Harris

"Now that I'm a client, I can't imagine how I ever managed my maintenance without the help of Savvy. You guys are a great team. I'm forever grateful for all of your help with my Cessna 310 thus far." —Barbara Santamaria

"I have been very happy with the Savvy program. I like having a knowledgeable team on my side. I'm sure I have saved many times Savvy's fee in reduced maintenance costs. My Savvy account manager Paul New has always been prompt at responding to my needs, and seems to really care about my ownership experience." —Peter March

"You've been amazing help to us, and very patient (which is much appreciated)." —Garrison (Gary) Cavell

It was truly a benefit to have you Savvy guys involved. The annual went far smoother and right on schedule this year, which is a first!" —Wick Zimmerman

"I can't live without Savvy. Thank you for all you've done for me. It's hard to find people who truly excel in service and value to the customer. Savvy is definitely one of those." —Carlos A. D. Cendoya

Mike's "Manifesto"

 Get Mike's New Book! 

Available from in paperback and Kindle editions.

Free Webinars

First Wednesday of each month. Next webinar is May 7th, 2014: "Owner-In-Command." Video recordings of 35 previous free webinars also available.