11 questions for Hal Shevers

We asked Richard Collins. We asked Mac McClellan. Now Air Facts has given Sporty’s Founder and Chairman Hal Shevers 11 questions to answer. Both a successful entrepreneur and an accomplished pilot, Hal is well-known for Sporty’s philanthropy in giving back to the general aviation community.

Hal Shevers
Hal Shevers is the Founder and Chairman of Sporty's Pilot Shop.
  1. You’ve had your Piper Aztec for decades. What’s so great about that airplane? My Aztec has taken Sandy and me from Canada to South America. It can handle fairly short runways and the engines don’t go to “automatic rough” at night or over large bodies of water.
  2. Who is the greatest pilot you know or have known? Everybody I know who has soloed an aircraft is the greatest pilot I have ever known.
  3. You’re in the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. What are the top three attributes of a successful flight instructor? Being in the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame doesn’t mean you are a great flight instructor; it means you have done great things for flight instruction. The top three attributes of a successful flight instructor are punctuality, patience and a team player.
  4. In your experience, what is the most difficult aspect of flying for a student to master? The most difficult aspect for a student to master is different for every student.
  5. There’s a saying that a pilot’s license is a license to learn. Are you still learning? If so, what’s the most recent thing you have learned about being a pilot? While you want to return home and say the flight was “uneventful,” we are learning on each and every flight. No matter how good a flight was you should be able to look back and think of how you could have possibly improved it. The most recent thing I learned about being a pilot is “old age sucks.”
  6. Sporty’s published a book by Lane Wallace on her 10 most memorable flights. Tell us about one of your memorable flights. I read very few books, but I did read Lane’s Unforgettable: My 10 Best Flights, and it was good. With all there is to do today, it’s hard to get time to read. But I can tell you my most memorable flight was when Sandy and I flew a 235 Cherokee to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. I don’t want to go into details of this trip publicly–that’s what the kids do on Facebook!
  7. What’s the best advice you would offer a budding entrepreneur? Any budding entrepreneur should have a romance for the product and a consistency of quality.
  8. Is there any aviation adventure you haven’t had yet? An aviation job you would have liked to have had? I think there are more aviation adventures I haven’t had than I have had, and I hope I get the chance to do more in the future. The job I would have liked is FAA Administrator. In fact, if they would give me that job today with the same power J. Edgar Hoover had, I think I could straighten out the FAA in 60 days. They have mostly good people with naive direction.
  9. We’re going to ask you the same question we asked Richard Collins and Mac McClellan: are general aviation’s best days behind it? The best days in aviation could be ahead if they would just give me that Administrator’s job!
  10. Finish the sentence: What gets my heart racing in an airplane is… There really is no time your heart should be racing in an airplane. The only thing you have to do quickly in my magic carpet (Citation) is don the oxygen mask in case of rapid decompression.
  11. Give us three words that describe you as a pilot. Straight and level; yellow streak; chicken.

7 Comments

  • I love his three word description of himself as a pilot very funny. I also enjoyed him saying his favorite pilot is any that have soloed.

  • I had to chuckle about Hal Shevers’ description of himself as a pilot. Similarly, I have always joked that “the greatest safety device in my airplane is the wide yellow streak up my back!” There has never been a reason for me to regret a conservative attitude toward flight.

  • I really enjoyed reading Hals answers! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only chicken up here. I am a new pilot…about 100 hours…flew my first trip to Sporty’s about 3 weeks ago and had the pleasure of meeting Hal who was in the lobby that day.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed Hals responses. He is a great promoter of aviation and I vote for him as FAA Administrator.

  • The Sporty’s Desktop Scanner Model Airband Scanner V needs some work. We very recently had to return 4 units before we could find one that worked on the VHF Aviation band. This product badly needs some QA work but the concept is good. Thanks.

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