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Flight Training Excellence AwardsFlight Training Excellence Awards

Let's recognize those who create lifelong passionate aviators.

There are many people who have a desire to fly, but very few of them make it all the way into our group of certificated pilots. The AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards, brought to you by Flight Training magazine, will recognize and celebrate those who provide a customer experience that supports student pilots and facilitates their entry into all aspects of the aviation community.

The award recipients will be named from the results of the 2016 Flight Training Poll. The Poll is based on AOPA’s extensive research into the optimal flight training experience and focuses on four key factors: educational quality; customer focus; community; and information sharing. We invite anyone who has undertaken flight training within the last 12 months to complete the Flight Training Poll.

The Flight Training Poll is conducted using an online survey process that contains several measures designed to prevent ballot stuffing. Each individual can nominate up to one flight school and one flight instructor per year. 11,356 individuals completed the poll in 2016. This resulted in reviews of 789 different flight schools and 1,515 different flight instructors.

The poll consists of 31 questions for flight schools and 25 questions for flight instructors, designed to measure the overall performance of a flight school or flight instructor through the eyes of their customers. Free response answers are scored by a panel of AOPA employees who are unaware of the identity of the school or instructor being judged. The free response answers are read and scored by at least two separate reviewers. The poll does contain some questions that are not scored and used for information purposes only. The surveys were scored and ranked using statistical measures that allowed smaller schools to remain competitive while accounting for the greater weight of evidence provided by larger numbers of responses.

Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce, Jeppesen, Pilot Workshops and Sporty's Pilot Shop

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We are proud to announce Flight Training Professionals as the 2016 Best Flight School and Brenda Tibbs as the 2016 Best Flight Instructor.

VIEW ALL 2016 AWARD WINNERS AND HONOR ROLL

Award Categories

Best Flight School

This award is given to the flight school that has at received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Poll and has the top overall score from poll results for this category. To narrow down to one winner, the committee may also conduct a phone interview or visit with the top finalists. This award cannot be won in consecutive years.

Best Flight Instructor

This award is given to the flight instructor that has at received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Poll and has the top overall score from poll results for this category. To narrow down to one winner, the committee may also conduct a phone interview or visit with the top finalists. This award cannot be won in consecutive years.

Outstanding Flight School

A flight school must have received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Poll and have scored in the top 10 schools for this category. Schools qualified for the Outstanding List by earning a score 80% of the maximum possible score from at least 80% of their customers. They then are rated in the top 10 by a blind committee selection process. This recognition can be attained every year.

Outstanding Flight Instructor

A flight instructor must have received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Poll and have scored in the top 10 instructors for this category. Instructors qualified for the Outstanding List by earning a score of at least 80% of the maximum possible score from at least 85% of their customers. They then are rated in the top 10 by a blind committee selection process. This recognition can be attained every year.

Honor Roll Flight School

The Honor Roll includes all flight schools who received reviews from at least five students and received 80% of the maximum possible score from at least 50% of their customers. The Honor Roll recognition can be attained every year.

Honor Roll Instructor

The Honor Roll includes all instructors who received reviews from at least five students and received 80% of the maximum possible score from at least 60% of their customers. The Honor Roll recognition can be attained every year.

President’s Choice Award

The recipient of this award is chosen by the President of AOPA from the pool of candidates submitted through the Flight Training Poll. The President’s Choice Award is presented to a flight school, group, or individual that has made significant and innovative contributions to the flight training community. The committee may also conduct a phone interview or visit with the top finalists for this category to assist the President in awarding this hon

Student’s Choice Award

This award is given to the flight school that receives the highest number of positive submissions of the Flight Training Poll on their behalf. There may be up to two recipients of this award in a year.  If a single location school has the most responses, they will receive the sole Student's Choice award for the year.  If a multiple location school receives the most responses, an additional single location Student's Choice award will be granted.

Learn more about the 2015 Flight Training Excellence Awards.

Learn more about the 2014 Flight Training Excellence Awards