Sporty’s Pilot Shop (N-100, N-101) highlighted its recently unveiled Partner Programs along with new products and services at its annual Sun ’n’ Fun press conference here in Lakeland, Fla. Sporty’s trio of Partner Programs provide discounts and rebates to flight instructors, flying clubs and FBOs for their orders from Sporty’s, paid quarterly. “One [flying] club just got a check for $200,” said Michael Wolf, president of the pilot supplies provider.
Sporty’s also announced, in conjunction with partners Appareo and ForeFlight, that its Stratus ADS-B receiver is adding three enhancements to its airborne weather and navigation app for iPads: a split-screen attitude view, animated Nexrad radar, and a battery-saving replay feature that allows the screen to be turned off, or another app to be used, without losing flight tracking and weather data.
Noting the explosive growth in shooting in-flight videos (“We’re interested in supporting this video market, start to finish,” company v-p John Zimmerman said), Sporty’s also introduced the first variable ND filter for GoPro and iPhones, enabling users to eliminate propeller distortion in their videos by “dialing in” the density of the filter, and also introduced a telephoto lens for iPhones. Additionally, the company announced a new MySolo service for pilots who take videos of their first solo flights, enabling them to upload the raw video to Sporty’s, where it will be professionally edited and transformed into a finished aviation video with onscreen text and audio for $59.95.
Eric Radke, presidents of Sporty’s Academy, reported strong interest in the company’s programs to increase the pilot population, including the “Finish Up” program that helps pilots who never completed flight training to earn their licenses, and its support for AOPA’s Rusty Pilots program, aimed at getting lapsed aviators back into the left seat.
Sporty’s founder Hal Shevers expressed his confidence that his management team is well positioned to take the company and its products into the new century. “This group I’ve assembled knows more about flight training and what pilots need, and about the light end of the general aviation market, than anyone else,” said Shevers.