AOPA Announces 2017 Flight Training Experience Winners

AOPA Announces 2017 Flight Training Experience Winners

FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s You Can Fly program has announced the 2017 Flight Training Experience Award winners. Winners were announced during a ceremony at the 2017 Redbird Migration at the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Tuesday October 17.

Earning top honors as the National Best Flight School is SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training, located in Anchorage, Alaska. National Best Flight Instructor winner is Zoan Harclerode from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Regional winners also were honored for providing a high level of service to their customers, based on responses to the 2017 Flight Training Experience Survey, which closed in August.

Regional Best Flight Instructors include, for the Midwest, Jim Fellers of Blue Skies Flying Services and Pilot Show of Lake of the Hills Airport in Illinois; in the Northeast, Robert Keleti of Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York; Chris Dupin in the Southeast, representing Destin Flight Works, of Destin, Florida; and for the Southwest, Scott Campbell of Sierra Charlie Aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Regional Best Flight School winners include: Northeast region, Take Flight Aviation based at Orange County Airport in Montgomery, New York; Southeast region winner and female owned and operated FL Aviation Center, based at Tallahassee International Airport; Midwest region winner, Blue Skies Flying Services, and Pilot Shop of Illinois’s Lake in the Hills Airport; and Southwest region winner, Texas Flight Aviation from Tomball, Texas.

The survey design was based on AOPA’s extensive research into the optimal flight training experience, and focused on four key factors: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing. Flight schools and instructors identified as delivering excellent training experiences also earned Flight Training Experience Awards as Distinguished Flight Schools and Distinguished Instructors.

“The scoring for this year’s group of schools and CFIs was especially close as we analyzed the results of the 2017 Flight Training Experience Survey,” said Chris Moser, director of AOPA’s Flight Training Initiative, one of the components of AOPA’s umbrella You Can Fly program to help grow the pilot population.  Moser went on to state that, “Reviewing the surveys is always so inspiring because we learn about some incredible training providers and see how much their customers truly value their expertise.”

For the full list of winners, read AOPA’s story.

About AOPA

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly by creating an environment that gives people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy aviation and all it has to offer. As the world’s largest community of pilots and aviation enthusiasts with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kans., and seven regions across the United States, AOPA’s events, initiatives, and services bring current and future pilots together and make aviation more accessible to everyone. To learn more, visit

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