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You Make a Difference

Thank you for your interest in the 2024 Flight Training Experience Survey. Your insights are helping to shape the future of flight training. We received thousands of responses, and we genuinely value your feedback. We will use this information to recognize and present awards to exceptional flight schools and instructors and to identify notable trends in the flight training industry. Award winners will be announced in April.

Students & Pilots

Do you believe your flight school or CFI stands out from the rest? Share your thoughts and stand a chance to win one of our valuable prizes! You'll also enjoy a 10% discount on your next purchase at the AOPA Pilot Gear Store. Survey participants include pilots of all experience levels who have taken any type of aviation training in the past year, from new students to those earning advanced ratings or taking a flight review.

The survey measures flight instructor and flight school performance on four key factors: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing. Your input is vital whether you've had a great experience or encountered some challenges along the way.

Once you complete the survey, you'll receive 10% off your purchase at the AOPA Pilot Gear Store!

Click here to review the 2024 Flight Training Experience Survey rules.

Your Chance to Win!Flight Training Experience Sweepstakes

Take the Flight Training Experience Survey and be eligible to win one of many valuable sweepstakes prizes, including:

  • Sporty's: One (1) PJ2 COM Radio. Value: $250
  • One (1) Real World VFR program on a flash drive. Value: $149
  • Hertz: Two (2) $100 certificates
  • Boeing: Three (3) Boeing Dry Bag Backpacks. Value: $50 each
  • AVIS: Five (5) free day rental coupons. Value: $70 each.
  • AOPA Pilot Gear Store: One Buffalo Plaid Fleece and Sherpa Blanket. Value: $60

Click here for official rules.


Many Thanks to Our
AOPA Flight Training Experience
Sweepstakes Sponsors

Flight Training Providers

Feedback Matters!

Encourage Your Students to Take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey

Do you believe you're among the very best in the industry? Are you committed to continuous improvement and delivering exceptional flight training? Encouraging your students and clients to participate in the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey can be an effective way to gather essential insights, enhance your training program, and gain national recognition.

CFIs and flight schools receiving at least five (5) valid responses in the survey will be given a customer feedback report to help them know where they excel and where they can grow. The report includes your average scores in each area and lets you see where you stand relative to the national average.

To be eligible for an award, instructors must receive at least five (5) valid survey responses, and flight schools must receive at least ten (10) to qualify.

Promote the Survey to Your Students with These Resources

  • 1. Check out our brief video (coming soon) explaining how the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey benefits students, flight schools, and instructors.
  • 2. Tune in to this prerecorded webinar for additional details and benefits of the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey.
  • 3. Download our survey poster, distribute it to your students and clients, and post it in your facility.
  • 4. Use the messaging in our email template as an example of how to get the word out to your students and clients, asking them to participate in the AOPA Flight Training Survey.
  • 5. Use the messaging in our social media examples to post on various platforms.
  • 6. Why promote the survey to your students and clients? Read our Top 10 Reasons to find out!
  • 7. Check out How to Encourage Your Students to Take the Survey for great ideas!
  • 8. Place a banner ad on your website promoting the survey to your students:

    Right-click to save, and then link your ad to this URL:

    300x250 ad

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Awards & Past Winners

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.

Meet Our Winners

Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor

The award is given to the flight school in each region that has received at least ten (10) valid entries, and the flight instructor in each region that has received at least five (5) 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 in 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: Western, Pacific, Central Southern, Great Lakes, Eastern, and Southern. A national winner for each category will be selected from among the six regional award recipients.

Distinguished Flight Schools and Instructors

This award is granted to flight schools that received at least ten (10) valid survey responses and instructors who received at least five (5) valid survey responses. Additionally, they have 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).

Customer FeedbackMakes a Difference

I have seen an increase in bookings this year compared to last year. Your survey reinforced the importance of helping with job placement after graduation. I intend to redouble those job placement efforts due to the survey feedback. I commend AOPA for this effort. I intend to continue participating.
Edward Scott / Jumpers Away – 2023 Distinguished Flight School

People don't remember what you tell them; they remember how you made them feel. The survey made me feel validated as someone who couldn't be easily dismissed. As an AGI, I was told since the beginning I wasn't a real instructor. This survey made me feel like a real instructor, so thank you for giving me the courage to stay in the aviation world and keep growing. It felt amazing to show my survey feedback and award to the DPE at my CFI checkride.
Rachael Webster – 2023 Distinguished CFI

Nova Pilots was amazed, excited, and humbled to receive the award as the best flight school in the Eastern region and celebrated this award with our CFI and aircraft owner team. We purchased custom Oakley sunglasses for each of our CFIs engraved with their name and had some posters made to commemorate the award. Thank you for all the effort you have put into this exciting program.
Bob Garity / NOVA – 2023 Eastern Regional Flight School Winner

Customer Feedback Reports


What is This? Why are You Doing This? Who is it For?

CFIs and flight schools receiving at least five (5) valid responses in the survey will receive a Customer Feedback Report to help them know where they excel and where they can grow. The report includes their average scores in each area and lets them see where they stand relative to the national average.

This program allows flight training providers to publicly share their Customer Feedback Reports from participating in the Flight Training Experience Survey.




Like some popular rating programs of businesses that provide customer service, e.g., Forbes Travel Guide or ZAGAT awards, the AOPA You Can Fly team’s goal is to help highlight and celebrate excellence in the flight training community. The Distinguished and Best of Awards in our FTE survey each year are part of a highly competitive field with many exceptional instructors and schools. While the flight training providers may not have received an award, they often have outstanding reviews from their customers. This program was created to help them receive the recognition they deserve in three ways:

  1. Post their official Customer Feedback Report in the online AOPA Airport Directory where their customers can see their reviews. Click for an example.
  2. Receive a Customer Feedback Report logo that they can post on their website and in their promotional materials.
  3. Help the providers to continue to grow their business and work towards perfecting the training and services they provide.


These feedback reports can help potential students and customers to select a flight training provider that best meets their needs. They can review the feedback from other customers like themselves to make informed decisions. AOPA also offers tips on how to select a flight school.


Flight training providers who would like to publicly share their Customer Feedback Reports on AOPA can submit a request here for their FTE Customer Feedback Report to be posted. Flight schools that wish to participate must have or create a business listing in AOPA’s Airport Directory. An independent CFI’s business must be an LLC to create a business listing. Flight training providers receive a special logo from AOPA to recognize their participation in the program and agree to include a link to AOPA’s website where their report is posted.


The reports will be posted in the AOPA Airport Directory under the school’s business listing, where you can search by airport ID, name, city, or state. We are planning to include the reports on the Flight Training Experience Survey and Awards page in the near future.


Reports will be posted for approximately one (1) year. They will be replaced when the following year’s Customer Feedback Reports are available to be posted.


The legal requirements of the review process include the following.
  • We request reviewers to represent that they have received one of the following types of flight instruction from the flight school they review within the past year:
    • 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
  • Reviewers represent that their Response is based on their own personal experiences.
  • All reviews are read by an individual looking for a review that does not meet AOPA’s requirements or displaying indications of a fake review.
  • Reviewers are given the option to share their written reviews with the (flight school/flight instructor) or to stay anonymous, so not all reviews will appear on the report card.
  • Reviewed (flight schools/flight instructors) are given the option to display their feedback reports, so not all feedback reports and ratings will appear on


  • AOPA provides the following incentives to all reviewers for submitting a review: eligibility for a flight training experience sweepstakes entry and a 10% discount for use at the AOPA Pilot Gear Store. AOPA does not encourage favorable reviews or discourage unfavorable reviews. Constructive criticism is encouraged, and these incentives are available to all reviewers, regardless of the ratings given.
  • Reviewers represent that they have disclosed any incentives received in exchange for a review, regardless of monetary value or source (except for eligibility for sweepstakes entry and AOPA Pilot Gear Store discount described previously).

Why You Should Take the Survey

1. The Survey is Brief!

The 2024 survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

2. Help Fellow Students

Assist future students in making informed decisions about their flight training, including selecting the right training provider or understanding what to expect during their training journey.

3. Drive Positive Change

By identifying strengths and weaknesses, your input enables flight training providers to enhance their training methods, curriculum, facilities, and overall quality, leading to a better learning experience for future aviators.

4. Share Positive Experiences

Your feedback will help recognize and promote flight schools and instructors who do an exceptional job, benefiting the aviation community and those seeking high-quality training options.

5. Contribute to the Aviation Community

Take the survey and give back to the aviation community. Your participation helps create a collective knowledge base that benefits current and future pilots, ensuring that flight training continues to evolve and improve

6. Get 10% off at the AOPA Pilot Gear Store

Complete the survey and receive 10% off your purchase. You can never have enough pilot gear!

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, and have your gift matched by the Ray Foundation, visit

You Can Fly