Flight Training Study Available

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AOPA has released the final report (4MB PDF) of its student pilot retention study and the tweaking hasn't changed the basic message. As we reported in November, the final report shows that the flight training industry isn't exploiting the cool factor of being a pilot as much as it might. It also says instructors should brush up on their organizational skills and flight school owners should sharpen their pencils.

Although most student pilots gave generally positive feedback about their training experience, the numbers slipped when it came to cost and the interaction with instructors. Something that was clear is that once students find instructors they like, they want to see them most of the time. Not surprisingly, the specter of the written and practical tests looms large for students and they want thorough preparation for those milestones. The report is a first step in reworking the way student pilots are trained, says Jennifer Storm, AOPA's director of flight training initiatives. "The research study gives us a common reference point," Storm said. "We hope flight training professionals will review it, join the discussion, and be part of the industry-wide effort to improve the student experience." AOPA plans meetings across the country to discuss the study and hear from flight training professionals about them.