Love of avionics propels Sporty’s president and CEO to greater heights

At 6:45 a.m. on a sunny, 56-degree May morning, Michael Wolf greeted two visitors from the Clermont County Public Information Office. His red 1963 Piper Aztec sat outside a hangar at the Clermont County Airport, ready to take the three on a round-trip 100 miles north to Urbana, Ohio.

The trip would result in additional material for videos about Wolf’s thriving Sporty’s Pilot Shop and his passion for avionics. Sporty’s, based at the airport, provides flight training, headsets and a variety of products for pilots around the world. The 200-employee company also serves as the fixed-base operator for the county airport.

Wolf, president and CEO of Sportsman’s Market, Inc., started working for Sporty’s almost 50 years ago. While still a student at Amelia High School, he was hired by Sporty’s founder Hal Shevers to help with miscellaneous tasks. Shevers, a pilot, recently had brought the young company to the new county airport.
The videos tell the amazing story of Sporty’s and how Wolf worked his way up to president – as well as his journey into piloting. He has flown to locations all over North America, everywhere from the Super Bowl in Los Angeles to the Bahamas.

On this morning, after Wolf and the Public Information specialists climbed into the airplane, he reviewed his flight plan and did safety checks. Soon, the plane was gliding over green woodlands and golf courses, brown farm fields, shimmering lakes, long-stretching highways and orderly subdivisions. The Cincinnati skyline could be seen to the left.

Within minutes, the Piper Aztec leveled off at 3,500 feet and cruised along at 200 MPH. Caesar Creek and Cowan Lake gleamed ahead. Dayton’s skyline and massive Wright Patterson Air Force Base sat to the left.

Then came Springfield, a bustling city with a large reservoir. By 7:29 a.m., the plane had touched down at Grimes Field/Urban Municipal Airport on the edge of the tidy town of Urbana.

The three disembarked and enjoyed breakfast at a vintage diner at the airport before his return journey to Clermont County.

Wolf continually checked instruments and occasionally looked at an iPad to see nearby traffic and review the upcoming landing pattern. The flight took the pilot and passengers over Xenia and State Route 42. Water towers speckled above the terrain as the plane neared Clermont County airport.

By 8:55 a.m., the plane was back at the hanger. Wolf had given the passengers remarkable material and lasting memories.

Watch the video about Sporty’s here:
View the video about Wolf’s passion for avionics here: