Flight Training Experience Awards Announces Regional Winners!

As reported by Julie Summers Walker
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Published In Midwest Flyer Magazine February/March 2022 Online Issue

The results of the 2021 annual Flight Training Experience Awards have been tabulated and 42 schools and 100 CFIs have earned a “Distinguished” Award; and six schools and six instructors have been tapped as regional winners. The national winners of the 2021 survey will be announced at the Redbird (Flight Simulator) Migration in February.

The Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards are part of the “You Can Fly” program, powered by AOPA. You Can Fly is 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.

AOPA conducted research to determine what makes a good flight training experience. These findings have guided the annual Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards since then:

• The sheer enjoyment of flying is an important attribute that should be emphasized in flight training.

• Recreational goals are the most common reason for learning to fly and most students learn outside the Part 141 environment.

• Students come to the process through referrals and place a premium on personal interaction with the aviation community.

• The flight instructor’s performance is especially important.

• Flying and the sense of accomplishment it delivers is a powerful influence that mitigates quality issues and results in an overall positive experience.

• The notion of an “aviation community” that shares this experience is a key motivator.

• Value means far more than price. Schools should seek ways to stretch the student’s dollar, offer free or low-cost learning opportunities, and demonstrate they’re billing the student fairly.

For additional information and a complete list of award recipients and survey results, go to: aopa.org/ftsurvey

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