A trip to Sporty’s

Roy was kind enough to invite me along on a flight to visit the home of Sporty’s Pilot Shop in Batavia, Ohio today. It just so happened to also be a CFO fly-in where the AOPA Catch-A-Cardinal would be displayed with a (nearly) complete airframe.

The view of the appalachian mountains over North Carolina and Tennessee.

The view of short final into Batavia.

Roy and I were lucky to have run into Sporty’s President Michael Wolf when we arrived, and he gave us a sneak-peek at the Cardinal.

Sporty’s founder and Chairman Hal Shevers insisted that Roy’s plane be parked next to their 2007 sweepstakes plane and with a wave of his hand, several Sporty’s associates moved Roy’s plane within seconds.

While we were waiting for the "official" events to kick-off, we saw this beautiful P-51D Mustang depart the field. We later spoke to the owner, and said the plane would be making an appearance at the Gathering of Legends.

This weekend marked the 150,000th hotdog given away by Sporty’s in appreciation of their customers.

Julie Boatman taxied the Catch-A-Cardinal up to the main Sporty’s terminal so everyone could get a closer look. She was kind enough to pose with the plane and I.

We were all surprised to see none other than AOPA President Phil Boyer fly in to get a first look at the Cardinal in a nearly-complete state. Julie was proud to show him the great progress first-hand. Phil and Roy enjoyed reuniting with a brief conversation.

And finally, Hal Shevers (on the left) and Michael Wolf (on the right) pose for a photo with me in front of the Sporty’s Pilot Shop. What a great pair of gentlemen to host such a great event! If you are near Batavia, Ohio (I69) on any given Saturday, be sure to drop in for your free dog and check out Sporty’s, it is a first class operation.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “A trip to Sporty’s

  1. Unknown

    What a trip! Looks like our connection with Mr. Wilbanks is paying off! The paint scheme on the Sporty\’s 172 sure does look good (okay, maybe I\’m a little biased because it\’s the same paint that I trained in, but I still think it looks good!)The CJ is Phil\’s, Correct?

  2. Unknown

    Wish I could type! "Our" connection with Mr. Wilbanks should read "your"!

  3. Owen

    Hi Ross,I have Roy to thank for being able to meet many great people within the aviation community.  His winning his airplane could not have happened to any nicer of a person.Phil and his wife flew the CJ3 in yes, but according to him, it is member-owned.  He insisted that anyone there who was an AOPA member have a look inside of "your" aircraft.  I\’m a member, so I gladly accepted his offer.  What a great aircraft! 

  4. Unknown

    Great post!
     
    Like I\’ve posted before – Can\’t wait for FSX to sport a Cardinal, especially one painted like that.
     
    I sure wish I could hook up with a 2-seated P-51 in the real world, too!!  Wow!!!

  5. Unknown

    Ha! Let\’s see if Phil lets me borrow MY jet for the weekend.

  6. Bobby

    Wow Owen, you\’re just having all the fun up there with Roy\’s fine twin! Good coverage on the Sporty\’s event!

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