Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2021
FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has announced the return of the 2021 Flight Training Experience Survey in an effort to continue seeking out and recognizing flight training excellence.
Anyone who has taken flight training – initial or recurrent – during the past 12 months can candidly assess the process and rate their individual experience through AOPA’s proven template for taking testimonials from consumers of aviation training services.
From new student pilots to experienced aviators shaking off rust or taking on new challenges, participants in the (usually) annual survey can help AOPA identify and acknowledge flight schools and flight instructors that stand out as examples of excellence in their fields.
In addition, data collected by the survey allows the identification and monitoring of emerging trends in the flight training industry that help schools and instructors to adapt.
The 2021 Flight Training Experience Survey will be open until noon Eastern time on July 15. National and regional winners in individual and flight school categories will be named during Redbird Migration on a date in October to be announced. The awards format will consist of either a virtual presentation or a limited in-person event to be streamed online.
To be eligible for an award, an instructor must have received at least five valid entries, and a flight school must have 10 submitted by clients through the Flight Training Experience Survey and must achieve the top overall score from survey results for the region and category. A national winner will be selected from among the six regional flight school and flight instructor award recipients. Regional winners will receive a Zulu 3 headset, compliments of Lightspeed. Instructors and flight schools receiving five valid reviews will be provided with report cards of their customers’ feedback.
Regarding that one-year pause in 2020: AOPA called the timeout in consideration of challenges flight schools and pilots were facing as aviation wrestled with how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
In place of the usual competition, AOPA saw an opportunity to build community by seeking stories of how and where aviation inspired its members, how it demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity, and how it highlighted the flight training community’s contributions to aviation and to communities at large. AOPA shared some of the stories during its presentation at the 2020 Redbird Migration, in social media, on AOPA’s digital platforms, and in AOPA magazines.
The Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards are part of the AOPA You Can Fly program, a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to get people flying and keep them flying. The Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards support that effort by recognizing flight schools and instructors that deliver exceptional training experiences. For more information, read AOPA’s Flight Training Experience Research.
You Can Fly program is funded by charitable donations to the AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. To be a part of the solution, visit www.aopafoundation.org/donate.