Each year, AOPA requests feedback from recent student pilots and pilots who have received instruction within the last year about their experiences and the quality of instruction from flight schools and CFIs nationwide.
AOPA uses the survey results to recognize outstanding individual aviation educators and flight-training businesses that deliver top-notch service.
AOPA also uses the data from the survey to provide “report cards” to flight schools and CFIs. The report cards help schools and instructors identify their strengths, as well as opportunities for improvement.
“Each year, we look forward to reading the feedback from pilots and pilots-to-be about the training and customer service they received at their flight schools,” said AOPA’s Vice President of Aviation Program Operations Elizabeth Tennyson. “It’s rewarding to recognize top industry leaders who are delivering excellent training and are also working hard to set a good example for new pilots.”
Based on AOPA’s research, the Flight Training Experience Survey considers four key factors of an optimum flight-training experience: Educational quality; focus on the customer; community; and information sharing.
The 2018 Flight Training Experience Awards will be presented at AOPA’s new You Can Fly Academy at the Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland during Redbird Migration 2018, Oct. 9-11.
In 2017, survey participants reviewed 1,048 flight schools and 2,012 certificated flight instructors. Award recipients included Zoan Harclerode of Rocky Mountain Flight Training Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, honored as the Best National Flight Instructor; and SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training, of Anchorage, Alaska, earning the title of National Best Flight School.
Participants in the Flight Training Experience Survey will be eligible to win donated sweepstakes prizes, including a 12-month subscription to Pilot Preferred (mid-tier) weather from Sirius XM (a $720 value); Sporty’s Learn to Fly course or Instrument course (Online, $200 value); PilotWorkshops Real World VFR (USB version, $149 value); PilotWorkshops Real World IFR (USB version, $149 value); PilotWorkshops Real World Coast to Coast (USB version, $149 value); an Aircraft Spruce Gift Card ($100 value); and a Hertz rental certificate ($100 value).