sage-popovich, inc.

Philanthropy & Events

Nick Popovich and his family established the Popovich Family Trust to give back.

The Family Trust mission statement focuses on education, Veterans and First Responders and children with challenges. The Family Trust funds scholarships and an ongoing commitment to aviation schools such as Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College to promote aviation education and source in kind donations of aircraft, engines and equipment. The Trust also donated a Boeing 737 to Ivy Tech for the creation of the only ETL “Emergency Response Training Lab” of its kind in the world. Based at Gary Chicago International Airport, the lab offers hands on training for first responders including law enforcement and SWAT teams, elite military teams, firefighters, dog handlers, TSA, Homeland Security and emergency medical personnel. The ETL is a unique opportunity that attracts international teams to the training program. Other donations include various aviation parts and tooling, including a functional GE CF4-3A turbo fan engine for education purposes.

Nick devotes substantial time and resources to speaking engagements at schools, conferences and mentoring programs where he encourages young people to pursue careers in aviation. He frequently partners with nonprofit organizations that support veterans, education, children with challenges and women in business.

Living Legends of Aviation

Nick Popovich, Founder, Past President, and current Chairman of sage-popovich, inc., was inducted into the 2017 class of Living Legends of Aviation, joining the ranks of luminaries such as Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Col. Frank Borman, Sir Richard Branson, Harrison Ford, and Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. He is a previous Member of the ISTAT Board of Directors and previous Vice President of MAEL. Nick and sage-popovich, inc. have been featured as the subject of a Discovery Channel docudrama, as well as numerous publications and news stories around the world, including ABC Nightline, Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Business Jet Traveler, London Sunday Mail, The Financial Times, Barron’s and many industry trade publications. Nick has a unique understanding of aircraft and aircraft operations from the cockpit to management-ownership of commercial operations. He has been appointed as the appraiser and/or wind-down liquidator by numerous US bankruptcy courts, and by Federal Courts as binding arbitrator in highly complex litigation matters involving aircraft sales, maintenance and management. Prior to the loss of his First-Class Medical Certificate, he was type rated in five commercial transport aircraft and has logged in excess of 12,900 hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The sage-popovich, inc family is enriched by our friendships with so many aviation pioneers and innovators, who remain not just business associates, but friends.

Nick was nominated for the Living Legends of Aviation award by Robert A. “Bob” Hoover and Sean D Tucker, without a doubt two of the most fearless and talented aerobatic pilots ever to grace the skies. R. A.” Bob” Hoover, a true Tennessee gentleman, known for his signature straw hat, was so much more than an airshow pilot. Bob flew both Spitfires and P5l Mustangs during WWII. He was shot down by the enemy and spent 16 months in a prisoner-of-war camp. In a mad dash for freedom he seized an opportunity, stole a Nazi aircraft and flew to safety. After the war Bob became a test pilot and a demonstration pilot for North American Sabre Jets, before joining the airshow circuit. Prior to Nick’s induction ceremony, unsure if he would be able to attend, Bob recorded a short video to be shown in his absence.

U.S. Army Golden Knights

December 7, 2019, the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team held a celebration and reunion celebrating 60 years of excellence, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In attendance were members of the first team from 1959. Hosting the gala was National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Ambassador of Aerobatics, Sean D. Tucker. Nominated by Golden Knight member, John Duda, Mr. Popovich was humbled to be Knighted as an Honorary Member of the Golden Knights. Nick considers it an absolute obligation and responsibility to strive for excellence in all he does, to honor those who bestowed upon him the ultimate accolade.

NICK POPOVICH named to “IN BUSINESS” 2020 Business & Industry Hall of Fame

Nick Popovich joins the short list of inductees to receive this great honor. He is being recognized for the global aviation business that he founded in 1979, and now operates from several facilities around Northwest Indiana. Nick has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including being inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation, but growing up in Northwest Indiana, Nick treasures this award the most because it comes from his hometown region.

Nick attributes his company’s success to the dedication that he and his staff demonstrate to SPI’s clients, and the ability to create customized solutions that meet their needs. He keeps his business nimble and his business relationships close. This has led Sage-Popovich, Inc. to be the premier aviation consulting company for lenders, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, attorneys, parts manufacturers, government entities and individual aircraft owners worldwide.

If it’s an aviation-related question you have, Nick is the guy to ask, and this recognition further demonstrates that.

Upcoming Events

Events hosted by sage-popovich, inc. will be posted here as they become available. Please check this page in the future for any upcoming events.

Chi-Stat Reception

When: June 2024

Sponsored by the premiere aviation law firm Vedder Price P.C., Chi-Stat is a Chicago-based group comprising aviation finance, marketing and consulting professionals. In addition to boasting the significant Chicago presence in the aviation community, Chi-Stat’s purpose is to provide informal networking opportunities for individuals in the industry. SPI is a founder and remains one of the hosts.

SPI hosts the Chi-Stat Golf Outing

When: June 6th, 2024

Gary Air Show


When: August 2024

Chicago Air & Water Show

When: August 2024

NIISSA Annual Fundraisers

NIISSA is a public-private partnership established to share security preparedness and resilience information and best practices with a goal to constantly work toward improving the region’s posture to resist the impact of all hazards, to recover rapidly when impacted, and to secure the protection of critical infrastructure in the region.

Cigar & Bourbon Tasting

When: TBA

Summer Event

When: Further details to follow

Nick Popovich was presented the Circle of Corydon Award on Friday, December 2, 2022

The Circle of Corydon Award honors Hoosiers who have made remarkable contributions to the betterment of Indiana and its people, demonstrating through life and service qualities exemplified by the state’s greatest citizens.

General Richard B. Myers and Walt Fricke present Nick and the SPI staff with the Hero Flight Zero award in recognition for significant contributions to the mission of the Veterans Airlift Command in transportation of America’s wounded warriors.

Walt Fricke, Chairman, CEO and Founder of VAC (pictured right) is a decorated former Army aviator. He received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with the Silver Star (and palm), two Bronze Stars, 21 air medals and a Purple Heart. His vision for the VAC flows from his experience of having spent six months in the hospital after being medevacked out of Vietnam in 1968.

Four-star General Richard B. Myers, Honorary Vice-Chair, National Advisory Board of VAC (pictured left), retired as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 1 October 2005, where he served as principal military advisor for the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.

featured articles

 Learn more about Nick Popovich, the many events hosted by sage-popovich and our participation in charitable causes:


Meet the guy who repossess airplanes for a living

Veterans Airlift Command

Thanksgiving Mission/Veterans Airlift

Business Insider
Eric Spitznagel

Air Raider article written by Eric Spitznagel; [This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in the December 2017 issue of Maxim]

Business Jet Traveler

Airplane Repo True Stories Exploring fact and fiction in the high-stakes world of aircraft repossession.


video Extreme Repo Meet the men who take off with planes, ships and ….cattle?

YouTube / AOPA
YouTube / Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel trailer for Airplane Repo


The Learjet repo man Business has never been better for the fearless pilot who takes back millionaires’ expensive toys


Flying the unfriendly skies with the “Lear Jet Repo Man”

Chicago Tribune/Post Tribune
Daily Mail UK

The tycoon owner of this 720 has gone bust. Now a bailiff has to take it back. The only problem? He can’t let anyone see him do it

The Michigan City News-Dispatch
Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick
Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Duneland Chamber of Commerce
Portage Life

Lakeshore News Tonight reporter joins mercy mission to Haiti By Lakeshore Public Television Relations

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