News From Headquarters

Is Your Club the Next Flight Training Excellence Award Winner? Take the Poll

2012 represented the first year of the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards, a recognition program designed to highlight and promote the nation’s most customer oriented flight training providers.  Although the awards were originally conceived to promote and support flight schools, to AOPA’s surprise several flying clubs surfaced as award winning organizations and many more made the list of honor roll.  What does this say about America’s flying clubs?  They can be a great place to learn to fly.

As supported by the 2012 Flying Club Research, clubs offer excellent experiences for both pilots and students alike.  The club environment offers several benefits over traditional flight schools all of which relate to the high standards and camaraderie that clubs facilitate.  Some of the facts include:

  • Club flight instructors are held to a high standard by members and in turn have similar expectations for their students.
  • Both CFI’s and Students have an ownership-like stake in the club and often the aircraft. As a result they treat their organization and its assets with a deeper respect than a rental based organization.
  • Social support and peer awareness of student experiences help define a more well-rounded, student focused, training dynamic than that of a flight school or FBO.

In the past month, AOPA has opened the 2015 Flight Training Poll.  The poll is the feedback conduit that AOPA uses to analyze flight training organizations and choose the Flight Training Excellence Award winners.  Here at AOPA Headquarters, we know that Flying Clubs represent a significant portion of the flight training industry and want to see you represented by the awards.  Joining the ranks as a Flight Training Excellence Award winner isn’t hard, just follow the following steps:

  1. Be awesome.  (most clubs don’t have a problem here)
  2. Make your students and pilots aware of the program.
  3. Encourage your students and pilots to express your awesomeness by taking the Poll.


As an added benefit, students and pilots will have the opportunity to win several prizes for their participation in the Flight Training Poll.  Prizes include a Jeppesen Private Pilot Kit, a David Clark Headset, and a Sporty’s Flight Gear Bag. 

Good Luck!  We’ll see you at the award ceremony.

Kelby Ferwerda
Manager, AOPA Flying Club Initiative
Flying Club Initiative manager Kelby Ferwerda joined AOPA in 2014. He is an aircraft owner, certified flight instructor, and a designated Master CFI. Kelby flies a variety of aircraft, but specializes in tailwheel instruction and initial training.
Topics: Flight School, Aviation Industry, Flying Club

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