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2018 Flight Training Experience Award Winners2018 Winners

Many thanks to our survey respondents for investing time to provide their feedback through the annual Flight Training Experience Survey.

The survey encourages anyone who has taken flight training in the past 12 months to candidly share their training experiences. Survey participants included pilots of all experience levels, from new students to those earning advanced ratings or taking a flight review. 

The overall performance of the survey respondents’ flight training providers is measured through their responses and also highlights areas where they are successful and where they have opportunities to improve. 

The 2018 survey results were used to select winners of the Flight Training Experience Awards which were presented October 10 during Redbird Migration at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland.

The 2019 Flight Training Experience Survey will open in early summer. Check back and bookmark this page! 

 
  • National Best CFI and Regional Best CFI - Midwest Mike Biewenga (l) and Regional Best Flight School – Midwest Blue Skies Flying Services & Pilot Shop, owner/president Mike Carzoli (r)
  • Mike Davis, Regional Best CFI - Southeast
  • Brian Schultz, Regional Best CFI – Southwest
  • Carol Bennett, Regional Best CFI – West
  • Gashaw Mengistu, Regional Best CFI – Northeast

Best Flight School - National

Take Flight Aviation, LLC | Orange County Airport (MGJ)
Montgomery, NY

Best Flight School by Region

Northeast
Take Flight Aviation, LLC | Orange County Airport (MGJ)
Montgomery, NY

Southeast
MIL2ATP | Wayne Executive Jetport (GWW)
Pikesville, NC

Midwest
Blue Skies Flying Services & Pilot Shop (3CK)
Lake in The Hills, IL

Southwest
Chandler Air Service, Inc. | Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD)
Chandler, AZ

West
San Carlos Flight Center | San Carlos Airport (SQL)
San Carlos, CA

Best Flight Instructor - National

Mike Biewenga | Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK)
Lake in the Hills, IL

Best Flight Instructor by Region

Northeast
Gashaw Mengistu | Montgomery County Airpark (GAI)
Gaithersburg, MD

Southeast
Mike Davis | Fairfield County Airport (FDW)
Liberty, SC

Midwest
Mike Biewenga | Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK)
Lake in the Hills, IL

Southwest
Brian Schultz | Lake Havasu City Airport (HII)
Havasu City, AZ

West
Carol Bennett | John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Laguna Niguel, CA

Distinguished Flight Schools and Instructors

Midwest

AirTrek North | Airlake Airport (LVN)
Lakeville, MN

Avel Flight School | DuPage Airport (DPA)
Chicago, IL

Beaver Valley Aviation of Ohio | Moraine Air Park (I73)
Dayton, OH

Fargo Jet Center | Hector International Airport (FAR)
Fargo, ND

Flight Safety International | Beech Factory Airport (BEC)
Wichita, KS

Gateway Technical College | Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW)
Kenosha, WI

Illinois Aviation Academy, Inc. | DuPage Airport (DPA)
Chicago, IL

MacAir Aviation | Green County-Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport (I19)
Xenia, OH

P&N Flight and Charter | Marion Airport (C17)
Marion, IA

Racine Sport Flyers | Batten International Airport (RAC)
Racine, WI

Skill Aviation | Waukegan National Airport (UGN)
Waukegan, IL

Spencer Aviation, Inc. | Delaware Municipal Airport (DLZ)
Delaware, OH

St. Charles Flying Service | St. Charles County Smartt Airport (SET)
Portage des Sioux, MO

Sweet Aviation, LLC | Smith Field Airport (SMD)
Ft. Wayne, IN

Warsaw Flying Club | Warsaw Municipal Airport (ASW)
Warsaw, IN

Windy City Flyers, Inc. | Chicago Executive Airport (PWK)
Wheeling, IL

Northeast

AeroVenture Flight Center | Mansfield Municipal Airport (1B9)
Mansfield, MA

Air Fleet Training Systems | Orange County Airport (MGJ)
Caldwell, NJ

AIR Ventures Flying School | North Central Airport (SFZ)
Smithfield, RI

Alpha One Flight Services | Plymouth Municipal Airport (PYM)
Plymouth, MA

Bravo Flight Training | Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK)
Frederick, MD

Chesapeake Sport Pilot, LLC | Bay Bridge Airport (W29)
Stevensville, MD

East Coast Aero Club | Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD)
Norwood, MA

FCA Flight Center | Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT)
Fitchburg, MA

Harford Air Services| Harford County Airport (0W3)
Churchville, MD

High Flight Academy | Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport (BTP)
Butler, PA

Infinity Flight Group | Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN)
Ewing, NJ

Norby Aviation, LLC | Southbridge Municipal Airport (3B0) 
Southbridge, MA

Orlandi Flight Center | Blairstown Airport (1N7)
Blairstown, NJ

Smoketown Helicopters | Smoketown Airport (S37)
Smoketown, PA

Valley Aviation, Inc. | Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport (WBW)
Forty Fort, PA

Southeast

Ace Basin Aviation | Lowcountry Regional Airport (RBW)
Walterboro, SC

Atlas Aviation | Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF)
Tampa, FL

ATP Flight School | Gwinnett County Airport (LZU)
Lawrenceville, GA

Aviation Adventures | Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (HWY)
Midland, VA
                                                                                   
Aviation Adventures | Stafford Regional Airport (RMN)
Stafford, VA

Aviation Adventures | Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO)
Leesburg, VA

Aviation Adventures | Manassas Regional Airport (HEF)
Manassas, VA

Box Aviation, Inc | Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM)
Montgomery, AL

Cape Fear Aviation | Grays Creek Airport (2GC)
Fayetteville, NC

Centennial Aviation Academy | DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK)
Atlanta, GA

Cherokee Flight | Cherokee County Airport (CNI)
Ballground, GA

Dominion Aviation Services, Inc. | Chesterfield County Airport (FCI)
Richmond, VA

Dragonfly Aviation | Barrow County Airport (WDR)
Winder, GA

FL Aviation Center | Tallahassee International Airport (TLH)
Tallahassee, FL

Flight Training Professionals | Orlando Executive Airport (ORL)
Orlando, FL

Holladay Aviation | Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (CRG)
Jacksonville, FL

JLS Aviation, LLC | Shannon Airport (EZF)
Fredericksburg, VA

New Orleans Aerial Tours and Flight Training | New Orleans Lakefront Airport (NEW)
New Orleans, LA

OpenAir Flight Training | Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO)
Leesburg, VA

Paragon Flight Training | Page Field (FMY)
Ft. Myers, FL

Pilot Training Center – Homestead | Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51)
Homestead, FL

Pilot Training Center – Lantana | Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA)
Lantana, FL

Skybound Aviation, LLC | DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK)
Atlanta, GA

Stratos Aviation | Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU)
Greenville, SC

Sunrise Aviation | Cecil Airport (VQQ)
Jacksonville, FL

WaterWings Seaplane School | Shelby County Airport (EET)
Hoover, AL

Southwest

Brazos Valley Flight Services | Easterwood Airport (CLL)
College Station, TX 

Chickasha Wings, Inc. | Chickasha Municipal Airport (CHK)
Chickasha, OK

Code 1 Flight Training | Van Zandt County Regional Airport (76F)
Wills Point, TX

Fox Aviation International, Inc | Propwash Airport (16X)
Justin, TX

Sierra Charlie Aviation | Scottsdale Airport (SDL)
Scottsdale, AZ

Texas Flight | David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH)
Houston, TX

Tulsa Aviation Group, LLC | Claremore Regional Airport (GCM)
Claremore, OK

West

AeroDynamic Aviation – San Jose | Reid-Hillview Airport (RHV)
San Jose, CA

Aeromania | Sheridan County Airport (SHR)
Cheyenne, WY

Aero-Sphere Flight Training Center | Vance Brand Airport (LMO)
Longmont, CO

Angel Aviation – Alaska | Merrill Field Airport (MRI)
Anchorage, AK

Bakersfield Flying Club, Inc. | Meadows Field Airport (BFL)
Bakersfield, CA

Bush Air | Elko Regional Airport (EKO)
Cal-New-Air, NV

CP Aviation | Santa Paula Airport (SZP)
Santa Paula, CA

Du Bois Aviation | Chino Airport (CNO)
Chino, CA

Executive Flight Institute | French Valley Airport (F70)
Temecula, CA

Latitude Aviation | Coeur d'Alene Airport (COE)
Hayden, ID

Pacific Skies Aviation | Zamperini Field (TOA)
Torrance, CA

SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training, LLC | Merrill Field Airport (MRI)
Anchorage, AK

Stick & Rudder, LLC | Boise Airport (BOI)
Greenleaf, ID

Summit Aviation | Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)
Belgrade, MT

 

Midwest

Jim Ader | Libertyville, IL (UGN)
Al Alwin | Lakeville, MN (LVN)
Jeff Anderson | Hartland, WI (UNU)
Logan Arlis | Batavia, IL (DPA)
Peg Ballou | Bucyrus, OH (17G)
Paul Berge | Indianola, IA (OXV)
John Boos | Grayslake, IL (UGN)
Andrew Dow | Quincy, IL (UIN)
Jim Fellers | Lake in the Hills, IL (3CK)
Scott Malcolm | Geneva, IL (DPA)
Don Muehlbauer | West Bend, WI (UES)
Greg Patchel | Kenosha, WI (RAC)
Thomas Plambeck | Kansas City, MO (IXD)
Milne "CC" Pocock | Cal New Ari, NV (18Y)
Antonio Rodriguez | Eagan, MN (LVN)
Joe Standley | Lake in the Hills, IL (3CK)
Chad Tieman | Fort Wayne, IN (SMD)
Paul Van Brunt | Lakeville, MN (LVN)
Mark Yankovick | Gladstone, MI (ESC)
Ed Young | Spring Hill, KS (K64)
Joe Zubay | Buffalo Grove, IL (3CK)

Northeast

Bill Allen | Millbury, MA (1B9)
Joe Baginski | Waynesboro, PA (HGR)
Marianne Buckley | Alexandria, VA (VKX)
Mary Build | Naples, ME (LEW)
Scottie Burge | Fairport, NY (ROC)
Chuck Copley | Hilton Head, SC (WBW)
Dave Hall | Montoursville, PA (IPT)
Jim Henry | Stow, MA (BED)
Bob Hepp | Fairfax Station, VA (HEF)
Larry Jarkey | Middletown, MD (FDK)
Andrew Joynes | Delta, PA (0W3)
Tyler Jusko | West Brookfield, MA (IB9)
Kyle Lacey | Caldwell, NJ (CDW)
Domenic LaFauci | Townsend, MA (EWB)
Kevin Norby | Northborough, MA (3B0)
Geoffrey Orlandi | Blairstown, NJ (1N7)
Jim Powell | Fitchburg, MA (FIT)
Ron Semanski | Swoyersville, PA (WBW)
Brenda Tibbs | Frederick, MD (FDK)
John Toomey | Reading, PA (RDG)
Ryan Walker | Frederick, MD (FDK)

Southeast

Mariana Baratto | Gainesville, VA (HEF)
Andrea Berry | North Fort Myers, FL (FMY)
Trent Bosse | Glasgow, KY (NEW)
Kirk Bray | Summerville, SC (CHS)
Kerwin Day | Smyrna, GA (PDK)
Raymond De Haan | Leesburg, VA (JYO)
Sabastian Drakes | Miramar, FL (OPF)
Christopher Freeze | Herndon, VA (JYO)
Bob Garity | Leesburg, VA (JYO)
Michael Gilbert | Purcellville, VA (JYO)
Todd Givens | Ruffin, SC (RBW)
Jace Habben | Sarasota, FL (FMY)
Jason Helmka | Lawrenceville, GA (PDK)
Ron Horton | Fort Mill, SC (EQY)
Jonathan Kotwicki | Sarasota, FL (VNC)
Bob Labrecque | Brandon, FL (PCM)
Jon Lambeth | Norcross, GA (WDR)
Barry Loomis | Hypoluxo, FL (LNA)
Raman Matiana | Manassas Park, VA (HEF)
John McWilliams | Leesburg, VA (JYO)
Dan Miller | Haymarket, VA (JYO)
Kelsey Mulloy | Fort Myers, FL (FMY)
Jay Nabors | Cary, NC (TTA)
Rajiv Nowbutt | Pembroke Pines, FL (LNA)
Dimitri Partafyllas | Greenville, SC (GMU)
Tim Plunkett | Port Orange, FL (7FL6)
Hannah Porter | Boynton Beach, FL (LNA)
Todd Shellnutt | Lawrenceville, GA (LZU)
Victor Slaughter | Naples, FL (FMY)
Jim Stover | Fredericksburg, VA (EZF)
Gary Sumner | Knoxville, TN (DKX)
Gene Tanton | Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (FMY)
David Twibell | Biloxi, MS (PDK)
Odanys Velazquez | Miami, FL (OPF)
Charles Weldon | Wilsonville, AL (EET)
JD Williams | Fort Smith, AR (FSM)
Jason Wolnek | Miramar, FL (HWO)
Reagon Wright | West Point, VA (RIC)
Harry Young | Fort Myers, FL (FMY)
Nathan Zucker | Boca Raton, FL (FXE)

Southwest

Muhammad Akif | Pearland, TX (LVJ)
Jerry Beckner | Spring, TX (DWH)
Scott Campbell | Scottsdale, AZ (SDL)
Joe Casey | Jacksonville, TX (JSO)
Brian Childs | Lake Jackson, TX (OCH)
Thomas DeYoung | Phoenix, AZ (SDL)
Jeff Kling | Friendswood, TX (LVJ)
Travis Lee | Magnolia, TX (DWH)
Caleb Park | Roma, TX (MFE)
Jim Pitman | Glendale, AZ (DVT)
Norman Rathje | Wills Point, TX (76F)
Russ Roslewski | Oklahoma City, OK (PWA)
Bill Scanlan | Wills Point, TX (76F)
Aaron Schaller | Magnolia, TX (DWH)
Johnathan Smith | Surprise, AZ (GEU)
John Winslow | The Woodlands, TX (DWH)
Steve Wong | Lantana, TX (52F)

West

Rebekah Butler | Leavenworth, WA (ELN)
Anthony Cirincione | Sun Lakes, AZ (CYS)
Robert Delvalle | Sandpoint, ID (1S6)
Jeff Fouche | Coeur D Alene, ID (COE)
Brad Groesbeck | Bozeman, MT (BZN)
Jim Hudson | Boise, ID (MAN)
Wes Irish | Emerald Hills, CA (PAO)
Paul Leadabrand | Greenleaf, ID (EUL)
Marc Lee | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (SNA)
Fred Lundahl | Langley, WA (W10)
Miriam MacMillan | Torrance, CA (TOA)
Joe Mattison | Longmont, CO (LMO)
Tim Miller | Sandy, UT (U42)
Anissa Mohler | San Jose, CA (RHV)
Evan Paraskevopoulos | San Jose, CA (HWD)
Jamie Patterson-Simes | Anchorage, AK (MRI)
Adam Peterson | Bakersfield, CA (BFL)
Harold Rice | Orem, UT (SPK)
Aaron Richman | Aurora, CO (APA)
Ernie Swallie | Las Vegas, NV (VGT)
David Waksberg | Los Gatos, CA (RHV)
Kristine Wanner | Highlands Ranch, CO (APA)
David Werntz | Altadena, CA (EMT)
William Woodbury | Bakersfield, CA (BFL)