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THE 2023 FLIGHT TRAINING EXPERIENCE SURVEY IS CLOSED

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Flight Training Experience Survey. We received thousands of responses, and we truly 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.



The survey encourages anyone who has taken flight training in the past 12 months to candidly share their training experiences. Responses are used to measure the overall performance of respondents' flight training providers and spotlight areas where they are successful and where they have opportunities to improve.

Survey participants include pilots of all experience levels, from new students to those earning advanced ratings or taking a flight review. Check out "5 Reasons to Take the Survey."

Survey results are used to select recipients of the Flight Training Experience Awards. Distinguished, Regional, and National award winners will be announced at Redbird Migration, April 11-12, 2023 at the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, WI.

Students & Pilots

Students & Pilots

Make a Difference by Telling Us About Your Flight Training Experience

If you fall into one of the following categories and have received any type of flight instruction within the past year, we want to hear from you!

  • 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

Beginning September 1, 2022, we encourage you to take the 2023 Flight Training Experience Survey. We want to hear about your experience through your feedback on the quality of instruction from your CFI and/or flight school. This short survey measures flight instructor and flight school performance on four key factors: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.

The survey is quick and easy to complete—approximately 10 minutes. We’ll use your responses to identify and recognize the nation’s best training providers. And, while positive feedback helps identify award winners, it’s the constructive criticism that helps flight training providers grow. Whether your experience was good or bad, we want to know about it.

And, once you complete the survey, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase at the AOPA Pilot Gear Store!

Click here to review the 2023 Flight Training Experience Survey rules.

Student & Pilot

2023 Flight Training
Experience Sweepstakes

By participating in the Flight Training Experience Survey, you will be eligible to enter to win one of many valuable sweepstakes prizes.

  • Aircraft Spruce: One (1) $150 gift card.
  • AeroSpace Reports: One (1) free title search package which includes the FAA Title Search, Accident-Incident Reports, and PDF copies of all the Airworthiness and Registration documents on file with the FAA. Value: $135
  • Sporty's: One (1) Sporty's Pilot Training +. Value: $399
  • PilotWorkshops.com: One (1) Real World VFR program on flash drive. Value: $149
  • Boeing: Three (3) Boeing Dry Bag Backpacks. Value: $50 each
  • Jeppesen: Three (3) Jeppesen Backpacks. Value: $50 each
  • Avis: Five (5) free rental certificates (day coupon). Value: $50 per certificate
  • SiriusXM: One (1) year Pilot Express subscription. Value: $360
  • Hertz: Two (2) $100 certificates
  • Pilot Gear Store: One (1) Packing Cube Set. Value: $55

CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL RULES

*NO PURCHASE OR REGISTRATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE OR REGISTRATION WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

Flight Training Providers

Flight Training Providers

See Yourself Through the Eyes of Your Students

How do your clients perceive you? Do you deliver exceptional training experiences? Do you provide exemplary customer service? If you deserve to be recognized as the “best of the best,” then encourage your students and clients to complete the 2023 Flight Training Experience Survey.

Who better than your clients to guide you when it comes to providing even better service? Your clients’ Flight Training Experience Survey feedback may help you identify areas of opportunity when it comes to training your staff, delivering customer service, and communicating with your customers.

CFIs and flight schools receiving at least five 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, plus it lets you see where you stand relative to the national average.

To be eligible for an award, flight schools must receive at least 10 valid survey responses.

VIEW SAMPLE FLIGHT SCHOOL CUSTOMER FEEDBACK REPORT

VIEW SAMPLE CFI CUSTOMER FEEDBACK REPORT

The AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards will be presented during Redbird Migration, April 11-12, 2023.

How to Promote the Survey

Tune in to this prerecorded webinar to learn how the 2023 Flight Training Experience Survey can benefit you. Then, download our survey flyer, distribute it to your students, and post in a high-traffic area.


Remind your students and clients to
take the Flight Training Experience
Survey beginning September 1!

The survey will close October 31, 2022, 12:00 noon, EDT.

Flight Training Provider

Awards

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 Past Winners

Best Flight School and Best Flight Instructor

Jamie Patterson-Simes from SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training receives recognition as the best flight school in the Northwest Mountain region during the 2019 AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards in Denver, October 16, 2019. Photo by David Tulis.

The award is given to the flight school in each region that has received at least ten valid entries, and the flight instructor in each region that has received at least five 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.

George and Debra Allen of AeroVenture, with other members of their team, are recognized as the best school int he U.S. during the 2019 AOPA Flight Training Experience Awards at the Wings Over the Rockies museum in Denver, October 16, 2019. Photo by David Tulis.

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: Northwest Mountain, Western Pacific, Great Lakes, Central Southwest, Southern, and Eastern. 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 10 valid survey responses and instructors who received at least five 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).

SurveyRegionMap

Winning Makes a Difference

“The FTE Survey is a great tool! The survey feedback gives flight schools valuable knowledge on how to move forward, and the awards points many potential students our way.”

 

Felipe Santiago, Director of Operations – Aviator Zone

Regional Best Flight School – Southern Region

Meet Our Past Winners

“We have seen a definite uptick in our business. We are growing like crazy as it is, and the award has amplified it so much! We are so excited and thankful and humbled about the award! We will be encouraging our students to take the surveys again! Thank you guys for everything.”

 

Sherman Gardner | Owner/Managing Partner – In The Pattern

National Winner and Regional Best – Central Southwest Region

Meet Our Past Winners

Award Winners

Flight Training Experience Award 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.

See past award winners here.

Customer Feedback Reports

FLIGHT TRAINING EXPERIENCE CUSTOMER FEEDBACK REPORTS

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

CFIs and flight schools receiving at least five 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.

FOR FLIGHT TRAINING PROVIDERS

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.
  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.

FOR FLIGHT TRAINING CUSTOMERS

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.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE REPORTS?

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.

HOW LONG WILL THESE REPORTS BE POSTED?

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.

WHAT IS THE REVIEW PROCESS FOR THESE REPORTS?

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.org.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE RECEIVED AN INCENTIVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SURVEY?

  • 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).

5 Reasons to Take the Survey

1. The Survey is Brief!

The 2023 survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

2. Make Your Voice Heard

This is an opportunity to share your flight training experience. Whether you’ve had a great experience or a challenging one, AOPA wants to hear about it. Let others know how well your school or instructor is doing, and how they can improve.

3. Help Improve the Flight Training Experience for Others

You’ve spent countless hours studying and flying, working closely with your flight instructor and/or flight school. Sharing the good and bad aspects of your training will help AOPA develop materials to support CFIs and flight schools as they work to improve the training process.

Instructors and flight schools receiving at least five valid survey responses will be issued a report card showing them their strengths and weaknesses. This anonymized feedback helps training providers understand how they can provide better training experiences in the future. Also, flight schools receiving at least 10 valid survey responses will be eligible for an award.

4. Enter for a Chance to Win Great Prizes!

When you complete the survey, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the 2023 AOPA Flight Training Experience Sweepstakes and become eligible to win one of many valuable prizes!

5. Receive 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 aopafoundation.org/challenge

You Can Fly