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2019 Flight Training Experience Survey is Closed

Thank you for investing time to provide us your feedback through the Flight Training Experience Survey.

The survey encourages anyone who has taken flight training in the past 12 months to candidly share their training experiences. Responses are used to measure the overall performance of the respondent’s flight training providers and spotlight areas where they are successful and where they have opportunities to improve.

Survey participants include pilots of all experience levels, from new students to those earning advanced ratings or taking a flight review.

Survey results are used to select winners of the Flight Training Experience Awards, which will be presented during Redbird Migration, October 15-17, in Englewood, Colorado.

Click here for the 2019 Flight Training Experience Awards winners list.

Students & Pilots

Students & Pilots

Make a Difference by Telling Us About Your Flight Training Experience

If you fall into one of the following categories and have received any type of flight instruction within the past year, we want to hear from you!

  • Current student pilot
  • New pilot
  • Pursuing or earned an advanced certificate or rating
  • Pursuing or completed a flight review
  • Pursuing or completed transition training or endorsements

Take the 2019 Flight Training Experience Survey and tell us about your experience by providing feedback on the quality of instruction from your CFI and/or flight school. This short survey measures flight instructor and flight school performance on four key factors: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.

New for 2019! We’ve streamlined the survey to make it quicker and easier to complete—approximately 10 minutes. We’ll use your responses to identify and recognize the nation’s best training providers. And, while positive feedback helps identify award winners, it’s the constructive criticism that helps flight training providers grow. Whether your experience was good or bad, we want to know about it.

Student & Pilot

Reasons to Take the Survey

1. The Survey is Brief!

The 2019 survey has been streamlined to make it simpler for you to complete. It should take you about 10 minutes.

2. Make Your Voice Heard

This is an opportunity to share your flight training experience. Whether you’ve had a great experience or a challenging one, AOPA wants to hear about it. Let others know how well your school or instructor is doing, and how they can improve.

3. Help Improve the Flight Training Experience for Others

You’ve spent countless hours studying and flying, working closely with your flight instructor and/or flight school. Sharing the good and bad aspects of your training will help AOPA develop materials to support CFIs and flight schools as they work to improve the training process.

Also, instructors and schools who receive at least five valid responses will be issued a report card showing them their strengths and weaknesses. This anonymized feedback helps training providers understand how they can provide better training experiences in the future.

4. Enter for a Chance to Win Great Prizes!

When you complete the survey, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the 2019 AOPA Flight Training Experience Sweepstakes and become eligible to win one of 11 prizes!

Flight Training Providers

Flight Training Providers

See Yourself Through the Eyes of Your Students

How do your clients perceive you? Do you deliver exceptional training experiences? Do you provide exemplary customer service? If you deserve to be recognized as the “best of the best,” then encourage your students and clients to complete the 2019 Flight Training Experience Survey.

Who better than your clients to guide you when it comes to providing even better service? Your clients’ Flight Training Experience Survey feedback may help you identify areas of opportunity when it comes to training your staff, delivering customer service, and communicating with your customers.

All flight training providers receiving at least five valid responses in the survey will be given a report card to help them know where they excel and where they can grow. The report card includes your average scores in each area, plus it lets you see where you stand relative to the national average.

Additionally, regional winners will receive a Zulu 3 headset, compliments of Lightspeed.

The AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards will be presented during Redbird Migration, October 15-17, in Englewood, Colorado.

How to Promote the Survey

We’ve assembled some marketing ideas to help you promote the 2019 AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey to your students and clients, including a how-to webinar, message points and a sample email.

Download “Marketing Tips for Flight Training Providers.”

Encourage your students and clients to take the Flight Training Experience Survey today!

The survey closes July 31, 2019, 12:00 noon, EDT.

Flight Training Provider


Awards Categories

Survey scores are ranked using statistical measures, allowing smaller schools to remain competitive while accounting for the greater weight of evidence provided by a larger number of responses. Free response answers are scored by a panel of industry experts who are unaware of the identity of the school or instructor being judged.

Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor

This award is given to the flight school and flight instructor in each region that has received at least five valid entries submitted on their behalf by students and clients through the Flight Training Experience Survey and has the top overall score from survey results for this category.

For each of the two categories, Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor, a total of six awards will be presented, one for each of the following regions: Northwest Mountain, Western Pacific, Great Lakes, Central Southwest, Southern, and Eastern. A national winner for each category will be selected from among the six regional award recipients.

Additionally, regional winners will receive a Zulu 3 headset, compliments of Lightspeed.

Distinguished Flight Schools and Instructors

This award is granted to flight schools and flight instructors who received at least five independent reviews and consistently earned superior ratings from their customers on the areas highlighted in the Flight Training Experience Research (educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing).

Survey Map

Winning Makes a Difference

“I’ve had pilots who were referred to me because of winning the Best CFI award for my region. Some pilots would recognize my name from the AOPA publications and congratulate me on the achievement. To be honest, it was a lot more than I anticipated it would be both in increasing the number of students and generating awareness in the flying community.”

Gashaw Mengistu

Gashaw Mengistu

2018 Regional Best CFI – Northeast

Meet Our Past Winners

“We’ve seen an increase in traffic to our flight school since we were named “Best in the Midwest” the last couple of years! We promote this in our social media and on our website and we get a great deal interest from people who want to check us out and see what make us different. We try very hard to make every person’s experience the best it can be. We just purchased another aircraft in anticipation of a very busy flying season, largely due to the Flight Training Experience Awards we received from AOPA over the last few years.”

Blue Skies Flying Services & Pilot Shop

2016, 2017 & 2018 Regional Best Flight School – Midwest

Meet Our Past Winners

“The main impact of the award is that I’m super busy all the time. I've also noticed that we're attracting customers from much farther away—people will drive farther to get to us and pass by other airports. It also helped to attract more experienced instructors to come work for us. Having the recognition from the award seems to help demonstrate that we’re a good place to work."

Mike Biewenga

2018 Regional Best CFI – Midwest

Meet Our Past Winners

2019 Flight Training Experience Sweepstakes

By participating in the Flight Training Experience Survey, you will be eligible to enter to win one of the following 11 sweepstakes prizes:*

  • 12-month subscription to SiriusXM’s Pilot Express, valued at $360
  • 12-month subscription to Sporty’s Flight Crew–Platinum level, valued at $300
  • 12-month subscription to VFR Mastery from PilotWorkshops, valued at $228 each (two available)
  • Five-day car rental certificate from Avis, valued at $200 each (two available)
  • Aircraft Spruce gift card, valued at $150
  • Cutter and Buck Canvas Backpack from the AOPA Pilot Gear Store, valued at $115
  • Alamo rental certificate from Enterprise, valued at $100
  • National rental certificate from Enterprise, valued at $100
  • Hertz rental certificate, valued at $100


AOPA’s You Can Fly Program

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. Click here to read the Flight Training Experience Research.

The You Can Fly program is made possible by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation. To make a contribution, visit

You Can Fly