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What's in It for Schools & CFIs?What's in It for Schools & CFIs?


The AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards recognizes leadership, passion, and dedication in the flight training industry. Through customer service feedback provided by your clients, you have the chance to be nationally recognized in our Flight Training Experience Awards, including coverage in a special edition of Flight Training magazine, AOPA’s website, and AOPA Live.

What better way to elevate the service you provide than by seeing yourself through the eyes of your clients! With as few as five valid respondents, you are eligible for recognition — and winning a Flight Training Experience Award is a mark of excellence for your clients and fellow training providers.

The Flight Training Experience Survey closes August 13, 12:00 p.m., EDT and the Flight Training Experience Awards will be held October 10 during Redbird Migration at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. 

Why Should Your Flight School Participate?

Who better than your clients to help guide you when it comes to providing even better service? 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.

The 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. It's also aimed at enabling your school to provide the best possible products and services to each of your clients, helping drive profitability, and improve customer retention. Review the 2018 Flight Training Experience Survey eligibility requirements.

How to Promote the Survey

Encourage your customers to participate in the survey! Here are some tools to help:

Sample Strategy and Timeline

Strategic Overview

  • To get information across, it’s necessary to convey your message more than once and in more than one place.
  • We recommend a strategy focused on reaching your clients multiple times during the four months that the survey is open to participation.
  • We also recommend you use all your communications avenues to drive participation in the survey. This means utilizing email, social networks, your website, word of mouth, and signage in your office or FBO.
  • Watch the AOPA webinar on how to promote the survey.

Phase 1 – Inform Clients About The Survey

  • Message: How to improve your flight school and your flight training experience.

Phase 2 – Remind Clients and Focus On Value

  • Message: You Can Fly’s Flight Training Experience Survey is a constructive way to improve flight training, and you can win valuable prizes.

Phase 3 – Final Push

  • Message: The You Can Fly Flight Training Experience Survey closes in 10 days.

sample promotional email to your clients

Sample Email to Clients

Dear <First Name>,

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your flight training experience! I’d like to get your feedback by asking you to complete the 2018 AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey. Your responses will help create even better training experiences for other pilots. Here are the last four digits of my CFI number, which you will need to complete the survey:  ___  ___  ___  ___

The AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey is based on extensive research into what makes an optimal flight training experience. Your participation will give you the opportunity to share your experiences so that I can see how I stack up to the industry. I want to hear it all - the good, the bad, and the AWESOME!


BONUS! Enter the 2018 Flight Training Experience Survey Sweepstakes!

Participate in our flight training feedback survey, and you’ll be eligible to enter to win one of seven great sweepstakes prizes* courtesy of SiriusXM, Sporty’s, Aircraft Spruce, Hertz, and Pilot Workshops.

  • 12-month subscription to Pilot Preferred (mid-tier) weather from Sirius XM ($720 value)
  • Your choice of a Sporty's Learn to Fly or Instrument Rating online course ($200 value)
  • PilotWorkshops Real World VFR (USB version, $149 value)
  • PilotWorkshops Real World IFR (USB version, $149 version)
  • PilotWorkshops Real World Coast to Coast (USB version, $149 value)
  • Aircraft Spruce Gift Card ($100 value)
  • Hertz Rental Certificate ($100 value)

Participation in the survey is not required to enter the sweepstakes.  If you don’t want to submit valuable feedback to help the aviation industry and would like to just enter the sweepstakes, click here.


sample social networking posts

Did we provide you with a good flight training experience in the past year? Take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey and help nominate us for AOPA’s 2018 Flight Training Experience Awards! Your feedback will help improve our training program.

Want to help us enhance our flight training program? Take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey today – your feedback could nominate us for an AOPA Flight Training Experience Award!

Did you enjoy flight training with one of our CFIs? Take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey & nominate him or her!

Want to help improve flight training? Take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey! You can nominate us for the 2018 AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards – we just need 5 total responses!

sample flight instructor talking points

Sample Talking Points

The AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey is a great way to give constructive feedback and improve the flight training experience.

If you are a student pilot, in IFR training, or recently received your flight review, we strongly encourage you to take the survey and help make flight training better.

The Survey is based on AOPA’s extensive research into the optimal flight training experience and allows flight schools to potentially be recognized nationally and you can win prizes for participating.

Listen to our webinar on how to succeed in the Flight Training Experience Survey

Watch the AOPA webinar on how to promote the Survey.

Watch Now

Download PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS to encourage your customers to participate

11'' x 17'' Printable Poster (PDF)

Download Poster


8.5'' x 14'' Printable Poster (PDF)

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300 x 250 Web Ad

Link to:

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Link to:

300 x 250 Web Ad

Link to:

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Link to:

Award Categories

Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor

For each of the two categories, Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor, a total of six awards will be presented. One will be awarded to each of the five regions - West, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast - and there will be an overall National Award winner.

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

To narrow it down to one winner in each region, the committee may also conduct a phone interview or visit with the top finalists. A national winner will be recognized out of each of the five regional award recipients.

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

Flight Training Experience Award

This award is granted to flight schools and flight instructors who received at least 5 independent reviews and consistently earned superior ratings from their customers on the areas highlighted in the Flight Training Experience Research (Educational Quality, Customer Service, Information Sharing, and Community).

For highlights of the 2017 Flight Training Experience Awards ceremony, click here.

What Winning Means

Zoan Harclerode, 2017 National Best Flight Instructor:
"After winning the Flight Training Experience Award, our growth is up 35-40% over last year. I’ve been getting phone calls from students living hundreds of miles away who want to fly with me personally. These are good times to be a pilot and I am all too happy to be a positive part of our industry’s success."

Jamie Patterson-Simes, SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training, 2017 National Best Flight School, 2016 Outstanding Flight School:
Receiving AOPA's award for the National Best Flight School was an incredible validation of the quality of flight training and the hard work that our flight instructors do every day on behalf of students. We’ve been receiving phone calls from all over the U.S. from people who would like to train at SkyTrek.

"We’re fortunate to be able to help some of them in their endeavor to become pilots or to help them on their training pathway. The Award helped to showcase quality flight training and know that our staff is on the right track in their approach to training. It has definitely put our flight school on the map as a 'destination flight school' that people seek out when they are visiting the area — where many want to attend to either start or complete their flight training.”

Faith Drewry, FL Aviation Center, 2017 Regional Best Flight School - Southeast:
Winning the award for best flight school in the Southeast region has had a very positive impact on our business - we now receive phone calls from people many states away. People call us and say that they saw our name in the awards list and can we please do their accelerated commercial/CFI/CFII? Our waiting list is now up to 25 people and about 2-3 months long.

The bottom line – being recognized means that more customers will come to you because they know you are an industry leader.

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.