June 12, 2014
By Sarah Deener
AOPA is asking pilots to share feedback about their flight training experiences to recognize outstanding schools and instructors and help identify areas for improvement in training.
This is the third year AOPA is asking for pilots and student pilots’ firsthand accounts of their flight training experiences in an online poll. The association will share the feedback with flight schools so they may learn from it, and will use the results to select the winners of the 2014 Flight Training Excellence Awards.
Pilots and student pilots may complete the Flight Training Poll for an instructor and/or flight school through Aug. 23. The poll comprises 32 questions about flight schools and 26 questions regarding flight instructors, and is based on AOPA’s extensive research into the optimal flight training experience. It focuses on educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.
“The poll provides instructors the chance to understand what constitutes a high-value training experience,” said Brittney Miculka, AOPA senior manager of pilot community development. “Most people will give a new pursuit one try, and if the experience doesn’t meet expectations, they’ll quit. The poll results allow us to share feedback with flight schools and instructors and shine a spotlight on the flight training professionals who make general aviation stronger by mentoring lifelong, passionate aviators.”
AOPA will share overall findings from the poll in Flight Training magazine in early 2015. Also, for the first time, flight schools that have received multiple polls completed in their name will receive a personalized report from AOPA so that they will have an opportunity to learn from the results.
In 2013, 3,375 individuals completed the poll, reviewing 508 flight schools and 956 instructors. AOPA announced the winners of that year’s Flight Training Excellence Awards in October. Flight Training Excellence Award winners for 2014 will be notified in September. Find more information on the awards online.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated private pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
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