Flight Training - February 2014 - 6

RIGHT SEAT

By Ian J. Twombly
VISIT OUR WEBSITE!
http://flighttraining.aopa.org

THE VERY BEST

JUDGED BY THEIR CUSTOMERS-YOU

T

his special issue of Flight Training is dedicated to the best
flight schools and flight instructors in the nation. It honors
those training professionals who, according to their students,
are the absolute best at what they do.

The training providers featured in this
issue are the winners of AOPA's Flight
Training Excellence Awards. Those
awards were given as a direct result from
feedback of current and recent students
through an unscientific poll AOPA
conducted throughout last year. In it,
the association asked respondents about
more than 30 factors regarding their
flight training experience. Those results
were added on to a panel-scored verbatim
section to come up with three tiers of winners-Best, Outstanding, and Honor Roll.
OK, so what, you may be thinking. I go
to a different flight school. The purpose of
the awards is twofold. From an industry
perspective they are meant to raise awareness of the methods and tactics of great
flight training providers, in the hopes that
other schools and instructors will learn
what's successful. But for you, the student,
the awards are equally important. That's
because schools and instructors that score
well against the criteria provide a superior
product. Knowing this should empower
you to bring up at your own school. some
of the tactics used by the winners. It may
prompt you to go elsewhere for a better
experience. And it provides an avenue to
rate your current experience.
We say it a number of times in this
issue, but it bears repeating: Schools that
are shown to meet the poll criteria provide a better flight training product. We
know this from independent research into
the ideal flight training experience. It's no

big surprise that some basic themes come
through: An instructor who is interested
and involved, a school that is upfront
about costs and time to train; access to
simulation; a perception of value; introduction to an aviation community; the use
of a syllabus, and so on. Whether or not
your school or instructor was a winner,
having these traits will greatly enhance
your success.
It was no question that winning flight
school San Carlos Flight Center has these
traits. Owner Dan Dyer is relentless in
pursuing the idea of the perfect school.
It comes through in everything a student
sees and does during flight training. Technical Editor Jill Tallman visited Dyer's
California-based school for her story,
which begins on page 34.
To profile Conor Dancy, the best flight
instructor, we took a bit of a different tack
and sent Managing Editor Julie Summers
Walker up for a lesson. Walker has been
around aviation for more than a decade,
but her nervous flying habits would be
sure to put Dancy to the test. You can read
all about it, beginning on page 40.
Finally, don't miss the full list of winners, beginning on page 32. These schools
and instructors are the best at what they
do, as judged by the toughest panel-their
customers.
Email Editor Ian J. Twombly at ian.twombly@aopa.
org; Twitter: ijtwombly; and visit Flight Training on
Facebook.

Check online (http://flighttraining.aopa.org/awards) for the next
poll to be held later this year. Your responses are critical for the
program-and your school and instructor.

6/

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Publisher | Mark Baker

Senior VP, Media/Editor in Chief | Thomas B. Haines
Editor | Ian J. Twombly
Editor at Large | Thomas A. Horne
Managing Editor | Julie Summers Walker
Technical Editors | Mike Collins, Jill W. Tallman
Senior Editors | Dave Hirschman, Alton K. Marsh
Media Production Specialist | Sylvia Horne
Administrative Assistant | Miriam E. Stoner
Contributors | Pete Bedell, Greg Brown, LeRoy Cook,
Budd Davisson, Rod Machado, Dan Namowitz, Wayne
Phillips, Bob Schmelzer, Jack Williams

Design Director | Michael E. Kline
Art Directors | Elizabeth Z. Jones, Jill C. Benton
Senior Photographer | Mike Fizer
Photographer | Chris Rose

eMedia Managing Editor | Alyssa J. Miller
eMedia Editor | Sarah Deener
eMedia Associate Editors | Jim Moore, Benet Wilson

VP Advertising | Carol L. Dodds
Advertising Director | Brenda D. Ridgley
Online Advertising Manager | Michael Wilcox
Advertising Marketing Manager | Eryn Willard
Advertising Coordinator | Donna Stoner
Advertising Representative |
The Orison B. Curpier Co., Inc.
East, Central, International | 607-547-2591
South Central, West | 214-789-6094

Editorial and Advertising Offices
421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701
301-695-2350 / FAX 301-695-2180
email: flighttraining@aopa.org
Copyright © 2013, Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association. All rights reserved. No part of this monthly
magazine may be reproduced or translated, stored in a
database or retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
other means, except as expressly permitted by the publisher; requests should be directed to the editor.
This publication is presented with the understanding
that the information it contains comes from many sources
for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by
the publisher as to accuracy, originality, or completeness.
It is presented with the understanding that the publisher
is not engaged in rendering product endorsements or
providing instruction as a substitute for appropriate
training by qualified sources.
Flight Training will consider unsolicited submissions.
All manuscripts and contributions should be sent to
flighttraining@aopa.org. Reasonable care will be taken
in handling manuscripts, but the magazine assumes no
responsibility for material submitted.


http://flighttraining.aopa.org http://flighttraining.aopa.org http://flighttraining.aopa.org/awards http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Flight Training - February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - February 2014

Flight Training - February 2014
Contents
Member Benefits
Right Seat
Letters
Fun on the Water
Success Story News
How It Works
After the Checkride
News Abeam the Numbers
Training Products
News Final Exam
Asi News
News
Flight Lesson
Accident Report
Around the Patch
Flying Carpet
Flight Training Excellence Awards
Awards Recipients
All for You
Dream Maker
Weather
Career Pilot
Instructor Report
CFI to CFI
Career Advisor
Accident Report
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training - February 2014
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - February 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - February 2014 - 2
Flight Training - February 2014 - 3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Member Benefits
Flight Training - February 2014 - 5
Flight Training - February 2014 - Right Seat
Flight Training - February 2014 - 7
Flight Training - February 2014 - Letters
Flight Training - February 2014 - 9
Flight Training - February 2014 - Fun on the Water
Flight Training - February 2014 - 11
Flight Training - February 2014 - Success Story News
Flight Training - February 2014 - How It Works
Flight Training - February 2014 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Abeam the Numbers
Flight Training - February 2014 - Training Products
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Final Exam
Flight Training - February 2014 - Asi News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 19
Flight Training - February 2014 - News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 21
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - Around the Patch
Flight Training - February 2014 - 25
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - February 2014 - 27
Flight Training - February 2014 - 28
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training Excellence Awards
Flight Training - February 2014 - 30
Flight Training - February 2014 - 31
Flight Training - February 2014 - Awards Recipients
Flight Training - February 2014 - 33
Flight Training - February 2014 - All for You
Flight Training - February 2014 - 35
Flight Training - February 2014 - 36
Flight Training - February 2014 - 37
Flight Training - February 2014 - 38
Flight Training - February 2014 - 39
Flight Training - February 2014 - Dream Maker
Flight Training - February 2014 - 41
Flight Training - February 2014 - 42
Flight Training - February 2014 - 43
Flight Training - February 2014 - Weather
Flight Training - February 2014 - 45
Flight Training - February 2014 - 46
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Pilot
Flight Training - February 2014 - 48
Flight Training - February 2014 - Instructor Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - CFI to CFI
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - 53
Flight Training - February 2014 - 54
Flight Training - February 2014 - 55
Flight Training - February 2014 - Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover4
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