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You Can Fly: Celebrating resiliency in a time of turmoil

Flight Training Experience project focuses on community

Flight schools and flight instructors across the country have been vying for top status in the annual AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards for several years, hoping their students will highlight them in an online survey.
Preflight July 2020

The awards are the Michelin stars in a flight school or instructor’s pedigree, a “Best” designation on their doorway or website denoting a Zagat-worthy location. But, like so much of the world in this COVID-19 climate, the awards are not the same this year. Many schools have had to close their doors and many instructors in states with quarantine rules cannot fly with students.

However, what has not changed is the passion and resiliency of the flight training community and so, while there will not be an award ceremony or top status this year, there will be a celebration of the flight training community. The AOPA You Can Fly program announced the Flight Training Experience Project in May.

“We believe it is important to celebrate the value and significance of the flight training community in this difficult time,” said Chris Moser, AOPA senior director of flight training education. “With the project, we will focus on the community, highlighting the inspiring stories of the flight training community, which has come together in support of one another to overcome the obstacles of climate and economy, and proved resilient in the face of adversity.”

The Flight Training Experience Project is soliciting video stories from the flight training community that show the people who inspire and demonstrate the resilience of the community. Schools, students, and instructors are asked to record a video of 45 seconds or less and share it on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok). Some of those videos and stories will be highlighted at the annual Redbird Migration event in October and through AOPA’s media channels.

“Instead of fostering competition, we believe this is the moment to build community, and we are excited to celebrate and recognize the vital work of our flight training community,” Moser said.

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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