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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 2013 Flight Training Excellence 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 24 months to complete the Flight Training Excellence Poll.

(The 2013 poll was open from April 10 to August 9, 2013 and is now closed.)

The Flight Training Excellence 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. 3,375 individuals completed the poll in 2013. This resulted in reviews of 508 different flight schools and 956 different flight instructors.

The poll consists of 39 questions for flight schools and 27 questions for flight instructors, designed to measure the overall performance of a flight school or flight instructor through the eyes of their customers. Each question in the survey is allocated a weighted score. Free response answers are scored by a panel of AOPA employees who are unaware of the identity of the school or instructor being judged. Each set of free response answers is read and scored by at least two separate reviewers. All scores are averaged to create a final points tally for each school or instructor.

We are proud to announce San Carlos Flight Center as the 2013 Best Flight School and Conor Dancy as the 2013 Best Flight Instructor.

Best Flight School:

Best Flight Instructor:

Award Categories

outstanding flight schoolOutstanding Flight School

A flight school must have received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Excellence Poll and have scored in the top 20 percent for this category. This honor will be awarded to all flight schools that qualify and create a positive customer service approach as evaluated by the poll. This recognition can be attained every year.

outstanding flight instructorOutstanding Flight Instructor

A flight instructor must have received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf through the Flight Training Excellence Poll and have scored in the top 20 percent for this category.. This honor will be awarded to all flight instructors that qualify and create a positive customer service approach as evaluated by the poll. This recognition can be attained every year.

best flight schoolBest 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 Excellence 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.

best cfiBest 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 Excellence 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.

best cfiHonor Roll Flight School

Any flight school that has received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf and receives a score of 70% or higher on the poll will earn the title of Honor Roll. This recognition can be attained every year.

best cfiHonor Roll Instructor

Any flight school that has received at least 5 submissions completed on their behalf and receives a score of 70% or higher on the poll will earn the title of Honor Roll. This 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 Excellence 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 honor.

Student’s Choice Award

This award is given to the flight school that receives the highest number of positive submissions of the Flight Training Excellence Poll on their behalf.

Learn more about the 2013 Outstanding Instructors and Flight Schools and 2013 Honor Roll.

Learn more about the top award winners recognized at AOPA’s Summit 2012.

View the 2012 Honor Roll award recipients online.


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