Flight Training Student Retention Report

February 23, 2011

The foundational research study for the AOPA Flight Training Student Retention Initiative is now available online. AOPA commissioned the study to gain a more in-depth understanding of the student pilot experience.

“In order to begin addressing the abysmal student dropout rate, we needed a more accurate picture of what students want and whether or not they’re getting it,” said Jennifer Storm, AOPA’s director of flight training initiatives. “Since presenting the preliminary findings and getting some valuable feedback at the AOPA Flight Training Summit in November, we have been working with the research group APCO Insight® to add some additional content and context to the final report.”

In order to facilitate a national conversation on the student retention issue, AOPA will hold regional meetings with flight training providers this year. At the meetings,

AOPA will provide a brief overview of the report findings and take the opportunity to hear comments, questions, and concerns from flight instructors, as well as school owners and managers. As the people on the front line, these groups’ input is critical to whatever solutions are developed.

In addition, AOPA will re-introduce the Flight School Business newsletter on March 1st, providing a way to communicate directly with flight schools and share insights on recruiting and retaining student pilots, and for keeping customers coming back once they’ve earned a certificate.

“The research study gives us a common reference point,” concluded Storm. “We hope flight training professionals will review it, join the discussion, and be part of the industry-wide effort to improve the student experience.”