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AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey opens May 15

On May 15, AOPA will return after a yearlong pause to seeking out and recognizing flight training excellence with the 2021 Flight Training Experience Survey.

Photo by Chris Rose.

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 our tried-and-true 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 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.

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 in October on a date 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: We called the timeout in consideration of challenges flight schools and pilots were facing as aviation wrestled with how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

So, in place of the usual competition, we saw an opportunity to build community by seeking stories of how and where aviation inspired us, 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. We shared some of the stories during our presentation at the 2020 Redbird Migration, in social media, on AOPA’s digital platforms, and in AOPA’s magazines. Watch the video.

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 our Flight Training Experience Research.

The 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

AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.

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