The theme of Sporty’s seventh annual Fly-In was the 50th anniversary of the company, but ideal weather, dozens of exhibitors, free seminars and free hot dogs all worked as a magnet to draw thousands of pilots and aircraft owners to Sporty’s Clermont County Airport on Saturday, May 21.
Beginning at 10 a.m., fly-in participants were given the opportunity to visit with vendors and organizations to hear and see the latest products and services for general aviation pilots and owners.
At noon, a short program paid tribute to Sporty’s Chairman and Founder Hal Shevers on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Sporty’s. Both “Miracle on the Hudson” First Officer Jeff Skiles and aviation journalist Mac McClellan spoke of the contributions to general aviation made possible through Sporty’s philanthropic efforts. Video tributes from AOPA President Craig Fuller, past AOPA President Phil Boyer, retired Cessna President and CEO Jack Pelton, and EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny were shown.
In addition to free hot dogs for lunch, all fly-in attendees were given a piece of cake to mark Sporty’s golden anniversary.
Free seminars were once again popular, with the seminar on the iPad, hosted by Sporty’s Vice President Bret Koebbe, attracting the most interest with more than 150 pilots in attendance. Other seminars were presented by Garmin, Aspen Avionics, Air Mod, ForeFlight and others.
Saturday was also International Learn to Fly Day, and Sporty’s Academy had a complement of flight instructors ready to give $99 introductory lessons. Approximately one dozen intro lessons were given, including one for a 12-year old boy and another for a man in his 60s.
“We just plain had a good time on Saturday,” said Sporty’s President Michael Wolf. “We are so pleased that we were able to celebrate our 50th anniversary in the company of our valued vendors and loyal customers. We would not be here without them.”
Next year’s Fly-in and Cessna Skycatcher Sweepstakes drawing is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2012.
For more information: Sportys.com