About Us

Meet The Sonex Aircraft Team

On February 28, 1998 John Monnett lifted-off from Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI in a completely new aircraft: Sonex serial number 1, or "SX1." While certainly not the beginning of John Monnett's journey, the first flight of SX1 marked the beginning of the Sonex Story for us and thousands of others worldwide.

Beginning February 28, 2018 we kick-off our 20th Anniversary celebration with the launch of the new SonexAircraft.com web site, and look forward to a year-long celebration of all we have accomplished together over the past two decades.

 

As we reflect upon the last 20 years and look forward to the next, the Sonex ownership and staff want to extend a hearty THANK YOU to our loyal customers and everyone else in our industry and family who has supported us in so-many ways through the years!

 


Read the original 1998 Sport Aviation Sonex Article!

 


Our Mission

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is committed to providing the recreational aviation community innovative, cost-effective and efficient aircraft kits, powerplants, and accessories and supporting them with industry-leading customer service.

In addition, Sonex provides leadership to the grass-roots homebuilt community to protect the experimental-amateur built rules and cultivates new pilots and airplane builders through educational efforts.

Our Vision

To continue the Sonex Aircraft heritage of Product Innovation, Affordability, Simplicity, Versatility, Performance, Engineering, and Quality and to expand these themes into a broader aviation marketplace.

 

Contact Sonex Staff

Management Team


John Monnett of Sonex, Ltd. with the Xenos motorglider.

John Monnett

Founder & President, Sonex Aircraft LLC

John, a multi-thousand hour private pilot with both glider and float plane ratings and an A&P Mechanic, has many designs to his credit including the Sonerai sport aircraft series, Monerai sailplane, Moni motorglider, Monex racer, along with numerous other homebuilt aircraft. John has over 40 years of homebuilt aircraft and restoration experience along with extensive engine development and testing experience. John was inducted into the EAA Homebuilder's Hall of Fame in 2001 and his designs are on display in the Udvar-Hazy National Air & Space Museum and the EAA AirVenture Museum.

monnett_cover_thumbJohn Monnett Biography:

"John Monnett: from Sonerai to Sonex"
by Jim Cunningham

This 150 page biography of Sonex founder and President John Monnett was written by a Sonex builder and tells the inspiring story of the history behind Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions products. Signed Copies are available directly from the Sonex Web Store!


Betty Monnett at Sonex, Ltd.Betty Monnett

Chief Financial Officer

Betty brings ten years of teaching experience and over twenty years in Public Relations and Advertising. Her outgoing and friendly personality make her one of Sonex's greatest assets. Her primary responsibilities are as Sonex Aircraft CFO, however, Betty's involvement and support knows no bounds.


Mark_SchaibleMark Schaible

General Manager

A full-time member of the Sonex team since June of 2004, Mark currently serves as the General Manager for Sonex Aircraft, LLC and is responsible for most of the company’s day-to-day operations while also focusing with Sonex ownership and staff on the strategic vision and direction of the company, working with strategic partnerships, educational outreach programs, sales, advertising, public relations, and strategic planning of new products. Mark has an aviation journalism and photography background, with exposure to multiple facets of aviation and over 20 years of industry experience. Perhaps best known prior to Sonex as an aviation photographer, Mark photographed for EAA for several years before moving on to a freelance career. His images have appeared in publications like Sport Aviation, AOPA Pilot, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Popular Mechanics and many others.

A life-long EAA member, working at Sonex is the fulfillment of a dream to be immersed in an experimental aircraft design and production environment and at home, Mark is working on the construction of Onex S/N ONX0183 - albeit VERY slowly with a wife, four young children and a demanding job!


Heather_0978-200Heather Zahner

Financial Controller, Manager of Customer Service and Human Resources

A member of our Mananagement Team, Heather has been at Sonex since February of 2005 and fits-in perfectly with the flexible and gifted Sonex Staff. She brings an extensive background in Office Management, Customer Service and Accounting, has a talent for organization and efficiency, and shares great understanding of the heart of a small business.

In her spare time, Heather runs a small family-owned real estate rental business with her husband Tony. She and Tony are the proud parents of Gracie-Jean (2006) and James (2010).

Although Heather is in a much more behind-the-scene’s role than when she first joined us, she still enjoys hearing from our customers and getting to listen to their stories of building & flying whenever she gets the chance. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with her, she’d be happy to hear from you.

Full-Time Staff


Kerry-roll2-300Kerry Fores

Technical Communications Manager

Kerry has been with Sonex Aircraft since January 2003, but volunteered his time beginning in 1999 when he learned of the development of Sonex prototypes. Kerry scratch-built his Sonex, "Metal Illness", which first flew in February 2004, and was awarded Plans Built Champion at AirVenture 2006. Kerry logged nearly 500 hours in his aircraft in just 7 years, including aerobatics and cross country flights.

Kerry's versatile work background fits perfectly into the Sonex business model and includes technical writing, graphic design, design-draftsman, photography, British car maintenance, and Air Force weapons loading. His primary duties at Sonex Aircraft are technical support - both direct via phone and email, and indirect through the development of technical manuals - but his experience allows him to fill many roles. Kerry is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Sport Aviation, Sport Pilot, and Kitplanes magazines, as well as non-aviation titles.


Steve_Severson_5225-300Steven Severson

Purchasing and Warehouse Operations Manager

Steve joined the Sonex staff as a Purchasing Agent in December, 2013. Steve has a diverse background in the warehouse and inventory fields and is a recent graduate from FVTC with an Associates of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management. In addition, he also graduated from FVTC in 2000 with a A.A.S. in Computer Networking, so with his experience and education Steve is proving to be a valuable member to the already talented Sonex family.

Steve joined the Navy in 1992, going to boot camp a month after graduating high school. He spent 5 years in the Navy and 2 of those on a Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Scott (DDG 995). While assigned to the ship he spent 6 months cruising the seas of the Mediterranean and was able to visit many different countries, including Greece, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania.

As a single father, Steve enjoys spending his free time with his 2 kids, Bryanna and Brayden, whom he has every other week. He loves getting out and enjoying any activity in the Wisconsin summers, but especially enjoys golfing and fishing whenever he gets the chance.


Jason KmecheckJason Kmecheck

CAD Draftsman

Jason joined the Sonex staff as a CAD Draftsman in April, 2014. A graduate of Fox Valley Technical College as a Mechanical Design major with an emphasis on 3D Solid Modeling and Rapid Prototyping, Jason brings an important skill set to the Sonex R&D Department for the development of new products, and in a drawing system support role for existing products.

Jason served in the U.S. Army on active duty for 6 years as a UH-60 Blackhawk mechanic, and has enjoyed and endured many different areas around the world. His background in aviation predominantly involved work on heavy lift type 1 helicopters for the military and wild-land firefighting. With his interests centered around aviation, VW dune buggies, DIY projects, etc. Jason, like most of our staff, is akin to a kid in a candy shop here at Sonex!

A single father, Jason enjoys time with his daughter camping, doing anything on the water, checking out caves, gem and precious metal prospecting, and just about anything that involves fun. Oh, and definitely don’t forget Legos!


Cris NashCris Nash

Quick Build Department Lead Mechanic

Cris joined Sonex Aircraft, LLC part-time in May of 2016 and became a full-time employee in July, 2017 after graduating from Fox Valley Technical College with an Aircraft Electronics degree. He has been an EAA member since 2007 and has been involved in aviation in many forms since he was a kid. He has had a strong interest in homebuilt aircraft and the opportunity of working at Sonex has been a dream for many years. Cris’ background includes almost 15 years experience with customer service, computers, and electronics.

In his spare time, Cris is working on building his Sonex (S/N 1201). His wife, Melissa, and two kids, Tyler and Claire, regularly assist with building. He also enjoys working on model airplanes, computers and playing Legos/video games with his kids.


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