Only nine flight schools in our country were recognized by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as Outstanding Flight Schools and the only one in South Carolina was Stratos Aviation, located in Greenville. Stratos' Founder and Owner, Dimitri Partafyllas was also listed, with just one other South Carolinian, on the AOPA Flight Instructor Honor Roll which consisted of just fifty recipients. The other South Carolina instructor to win was John Selby based out of the Mt. Pleasant Regional-Faison Field Airport.
Winners were chosen based on a poll that gave aviators the opportunity to provide feedback about their recent flight training experience. The Flight Training Poll measured the performance of flight training providers based on educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing, factors that combine to create an optimal flight training experience, according to a study commissioned by AOPA in 2010. Voting took place between May 23 and Aug. 22, 2016 with 11,356 ballots being cast, with a total of 789 flight schools and 1,515 flight instructors receiving votes. Partafyllas was recognized in San Marcos, Texas on Oct. 25 at the Redbird Migration Flight Training Conference.
"I have always had a passion for aviation and wanted to fly ever since I was a child. I started learning to fly in 1996 and became an instructor in 2007," Partafyllas said. “I really enjoy teaching people to fly," Partafyllas added.
In 2014, Stratos opened it doors and has been a dream come true for Partafyllas, who worked as a mechanical engineer, in various management positions and within the automotive industry for over 20 years. "Dimitri has taught many local Greenville pilots to fly, as well as international employees who are residing in Greenville and he must be doing a great job as evidence of him being selected for this prestigious recognition! We are very honored to have Dimitri and his company, Stratos Aviation, at our airport!" Stated Joe Frasher, Airport Director for the Greenville Downtown Airport, whose airport identifier is GMU..
The Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) is the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina and is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that doesn't rely on local taxpayers for funding. GMU is home to Greenville Jet Center, the largest Fixed Base Operation (FBO) in S.C., as well as more than 25 other aviation-related businesses creating 453 jobs that annually contribute more than $35.2 million to the Upstate economy. For more information about GMU please visithttp://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com or contact Joe Frasher at 864-242-4777 or firstname.lastname@example.org