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Flight Training Excellence awards issued by AOPA

October 15, 2012, 01:36 pm

With the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Aviation Summit currently under way, thousands of aviation enthusiasts have flocked to Palm Springs, California.

The three-day summit features 400 booths, dozens of aircraft on display and nearly 100 hours of seminars.

"Whether you're an aircraft owner, a pilot who rents or an aviation enthusiast, the Aviation Summit has something to offer, from the exhibits in the hall and at the airport, to the seminars and social events," said Craig Fuller, AOPA president and CEO, who is attending the event. "You can also get answers to your aviation questions, explore all that our industry has to offer and discover new ways to get the most out of your flying."

The AOPA recently announced the winners of the inaugural Flight Training Excellence Awards at the summit. The winners were selected among 2,500 nominees. Awards were given to schools and flight instructors who exemplified the highest standards in training and customer service.

The flight school winners are Aviation Adventures of Virginia; Rochester Aviation of Rochester, New Hampshire; the East Hill Flying Club of Ithaca, New York; The Flight School of Cypress, Texas; and Summit Aviation of Belgrade, Montana.

The flight instructor winners are: Timothy Miller of Leading Edge Aviation in West Jordan, Utah; Kevin Bradford of the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa; and Devan Shepherd of Shoreview, Minnesota.

The president's choice award winners are Tailwheels in Lakeland, Florida, and San Marco, Texas' Redbird Skyport. The student’s choice winner was Aviation Adventures in Virginia.

“We created the Flight Training Excellence Awards as part of a long-term, industry-wide effort dedicated to increasing the percentage of students who earn a pilot certificate,” said Fuller. “We feel it’s important to have positive role models, so we are encouraging the industry to look at these examples of success and draw inspiration and encouragement from them.”

Schools and instructors were required to fill out a lengthy questionnaire in order to receive a nomination for the awards. They were then measured against 47 elements that the AOPA compiled to have shown the optimal flight training experience, allowing them to choose the highest levels of achievement. The AOPA says that the award-winning schools and instructors also serve as a model for standards that other schools and instructors can shoot for.

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