FREDERICK, Md. – Based on poll results from more than 7,100 flight students, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) fourth annual Flight Training Excellence Awards has recognized Aeroventure Institute in Southbridge, Mass., as the 2015 Best Flight School and Todd Shellnutt of Atlanta, as the 2015 Best Flight Instructor.
Ten additional flight schools and 10 other instructors were judged to be “Outstanding” by their students.
The Student’s Choice Award was given to the flight school that received the highest number of positive nominations, and for the fourth year in a row, Aviation Adventures was the recipient.
This year’s President’s Choice Award winner, Paragon Flight of Fort Meyers, Fla., was selected by AOPA President Mark Baker for significant and innovative contributions to the flight training community. AOPA also released an Honor Roll of 23 flight schools and 45 flight instructors, all of which demonstrated a high standard of accomplishment and received at least five nominations.
The 2015 awards were drawn from flight students and pilots who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience last summer through an AOPA online poll. The process yielded an evaluation of 788 different flight schools and 1,533 individual flight instructors.
The award winners will be recognized in a ceremony at AOPA headquarters Dec. 2.
FLIGHT SCHOOL EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS
Best Flight School:
- Aeroventure Institute (Southbridge, Mass.)
- Paragon Flight Training (Fort Myers, Fla.)
- Aviation Adventures (Manassas, Va.)
Outstanding Flight Schools
- Andover Flight Academy (Andover Airport, N.J.)
- Blue Skies Flying Services & Pilot Shop (Chicago/Lake In The Hills, Ill.)
- Chesapeake Sport Pilot (Stevensville, Md.)
- Holladay Aviation (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Jetexe Aviation Academy (Sacramento, Calif.)
- Orlandi Flight Center (Blairstown, N.J.)
- Superior Flight School, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Valley Aviation Inc. (Wilkes-Barre, Penn.)
- Western Air Flight Academy (Denver, Colo.)
- Wings of Carolina Flying Club (Sanford, N.C.)
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AWARD WINNERS
Best Flight Instructor
- Todd Shellnutt (Atlanta, Ga.)
Outstanding Flight Instructors
- Jim Ader (Chicago/Waukegan, Ill.
- William Allen (Southbridge, Mass.)
- Raymond De Haan (Leesburg, Va.)
- Jim Fellers (Chicago/Lake In The Hills, Ill.)
- Kayla Harder (Fort Myers, Fla.)
- Jeff Lipton (Denver, Colo.)
- Jay Nabors (Sanford, N.C.)
- Geoffrey Orlandi (Blairstown, N.J.)
- Jason Schappert (Dunnellon, Fla.)
- Spencer Watson (Washington, D.C.)
For 2015, AOPA introduced a sweepstakes that offered prizes to poll participants. Donations from Jeppesen and Sporty’s resulted in the following winning participants:
- David Kramer (Saratoga, Calif.) – Sporty’s iPad Bag
- Reid Gagner (Fargo, N.D.) – Sporty’s iPad Bag
- Jed Topham (Henderson, Nev.) – David Clark Headset
- Otis Key (Denver, Colo.) – Jepp Private Pilot Kit