The AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey allows student pilots and pilots to express their thoughts and experiences regarding their training, whether primary or advanced. In addition to recognizing outstanding flight training providers, survey feedback helps shape and improve flight training programs, making them more effective, efficient, and enjoyable for future students.
Survey results will be used to select the 2024 Flight Training Experience Awards recipients. Instructors and flight schools receiving at least five (5) valid survey responses will be issued a customer feedback report showing their strengths and weaknesses. This anonymized feedback helps flight schools and instructors understand how they can provide better training experiences in the future. 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.
Award winners will be announced at Redbird Migration, March 5-6, 2024, at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, TX.TAKE THE SURVEY
Survey participants include pilots of all experience levels, from new students to those earning advanced ratings or taking a flight review:
Beginning September 1, don't miss the incredible opportunity to make a difference in the aviation industry by taking the 2024 Flight Training Experience Survey and letting your voice be heard. If you have taken any type of flight training in the past 12 months, please share your experience with AOPA.
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!
*NO PURCHASE OR REGISTRATION IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THE SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE OR REGISTRATION WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
Many Thanks to Our AOPA Flight Training Experience Sweepstakes Sponsors
Do you deserve to be recognized as the "best of the best?" Do you believe in continuous improvement and providing your students with the best flight training experience? Asking your students and clients to take the AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey can be a great way to gather valuable insights, improve 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.
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
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.
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).
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
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.
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:
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 2024 survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete.
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.
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.
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.
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
Complete the survey and receive 10% off your purchase. You can never have enough pilot gear!