Sporty’s Pilot Shop Founder Hal Shevers Will Speak at March 21 Wichita Aero Club Luncheon

February 24, 2012 8:43am

The Wichita Aero Club’s March Luncheon speaker started his entrepreneurial career in 1961 by selling small radios that picked up airport control towers out of the trunk of his car. He could have called it Sporty’s Pilot Trunk…but it probably wouldn’t have caught on. Instead, Hal Shevers, an engineering grad from Purdue, worked at Cincinnati Milling Company…but couldn’t shake the urge to spend more time flying. He decided to start flight instructing, eventually creating a three-day ground school course that was picked up by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He also continued to supplement his own training, earning a commercial pilot rating and Air Transport Certificate, as well. He also continued to supplement his own training, earning a commercial pilot rating and Air Transport Certificate, as well. Fifty-one years and thousands of flight hours later, he is recognized as one of the industry’s most successful business executives as the founder and chairman of Sportsman’s Market and Sporty’s Academy—not to mention Sporty’s Pilot Shop, a mail order enterprise that supplies virtually anything a pilot or aircraft owner would want or need.

“If you’ve been around General Aviation for any length of time you’ve probably bought something from Hal through Sporty’s Pilot Shop and you’ve heard about him or met him in person,” notes Dave Franson, Executive Director of the Wichita Aero Club. “He’s an enthusiastic supporter of the industry’s drive to grow the pilot population through programs like Learn To Fly and he’s extremely generous with his time and resources, helping promote aviation all over. Having just passed his 50th year in the business, Hal knows just about everyone and has an extremely broad range of subjects he can address. This will be another great presentation on the general aviation segment of the aerospace industry.”

Since 1971 Shevers and Sporty’s Pilot Shop have been located at Clermont County/Sporty’s Airport in Ohio. In 2007, he was inducted into the National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame in recognition of his 40 years as a flight instructor and producer of educational products and materials for pilots of all levels.

Hal’s wife, Sandy, whom he married in 1965, is actively involved with Sporty’s, too. Hal participates in many national aviation organizations. The Aviation Exploring Committee of the Boy Scouts of America is a priority for him since he is an Eagle Scout. He was awarded the Boy Scouts’ Distinguished Eagle for his lifetime achievements in aviation. The Wichita Aero Club is planning to invite local Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts to the luncheon, as well.

The luncheon, which begins at noon in the Grand Ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton, Wichita Airport, is being sponsored by Phoenix Aviation Managers, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia-based insurance provider to the general aviation community since 1983. Phoenix Aviation Managers provide specialized underwriting, claims management and risk control services for a variety of U.S. based aviation risks, including business aircraft/corporate fleets, pleasure & business aircraft, commercial aviation (airports, FBOs, flight schools, charter services, etc.), government entities and workers’ compensation. PAM also plans to offer aviation products liability coverage in the future.

The Wichita Aero Club was established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.

For more information on the Wichita Aero Club, the March 21 luncheon, or other Wichita Aero Club events, call 316-681-4491 or visit the WAC website at