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AOPA President Boyer presents Be A Pilot award to Sporty's founderAOPA President Boyer presents Be A Pilot award to Sporty's founder

AOPA President Boyer presents Be A Pilot award to Sporty's founder

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AOPA President Phil Boyer
presents Be A Pilot's "Legacy
Sponsor Award" to Hal Shevers.

Sporty's Pilot Shop founder and CEO Hal Shevers received special recognition last week for being a founding member of another organization - Be A Pilot. AOPA President Phil Boyer presented Shevers Be A Pilot's "Legacy Sponsor Award" for industry leadership in strengthening general aviation's future. The award was signed by Be A Pilot Chairman John Olcott and President and CEO Drew Steketee. Boyer, a member of Be A Pilot's board, made the presentation at the Cincinnati AOPA Pilot Town Meeting last Thursday.

When AOPA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association first created Be A Pilot (then called General Aviation Team 2000) in 1996 to stimulate interest in learning to fly, Shevers signed on as a founding member, and he has been an enthusiastic supporter ever since.

He's also put his money where his mouth is, contributing some $875,000 to Be A Pilot, making him the third largest contributor to the program. (Sporty's also donated $4 per each of the 200 pilots attending the meeting for a total $800 donation to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.)

Shevers also has served on the board since the beginning of the program and was chairman in 2001.

AOPA research led to the creation of the program. The data showed that the health of the entire general aviation industry could be tied to the number of "student starts." When the number of people starting flight training increases, there are corresponding increases in everything from flight hours to fuel and aircraft sales.

Be A Pilot has helped spur student starts through innovative Internet, advertising, and incentive programs.

The Web site provides details about the steps of learning to fly, the safety of aviation, cost, how to locate a flight school, aviation careers, and more.

Be A Pilot also produces targeted cable television advertising to inform viewers about the benefits of general aviation, inviting them to give flying a try. President and CEO Steketee will announce a new TV advertising campaign at Sun 'n Fun in April.

AOPA President Phil Boyer has served as both chairman of the board and president of Be A Pilot. He currently serves on Be A Pilot's board of directors.

March 31, 2005

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