Instructor Academy Gives Beech a Future

By Scott Spangler on April 15th, 2013

imageThe recent announcement that the American Bonanza Society and its ABS Air Safety Foundation had established the ABS Flight Instructor Academy was not only good news, it was a surprise. For some reason I’d thought that it had been around as long as ABS’s exemplary Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program, which has been providing type-specific training for 30 years.

Perhaps it was, in an informal sharing of information among the the BPPP instructors. I took the course in 1991, and my instructor was Sandy Provenzano, 1990’s Flight Instructor of the Year, and knowledge of the F33 Bonanza I was flying surprised not only me, her knowledge revealed new insights to the airplane’s long-time owner.

The need for the ABS Instructor Academy has never been greater. Given the business travails of their maker, the Beech Bonanza, Debonair, Baron, and Travel Air are essentially orphans now. When these piston survivors are adopted by new owners, finding a qualified CFI for an in-depth checkout isn’t easy. The ABS Instructor Academy solves this problem and, given the challenges facing general aviation, groups dedicated to the support of other makes and models should take note of this solution and its mission, “to protect lives and preserve the Beechcraft fleet.”

imageAnother surprise, and one that speaks volumes about ABS’s dedication to that mission, is the tuition for the 19-course online academy: $125. For less than it costs to rent such an airplane for an hour, CFIs get three decades worth of teaching experience from BPPP masters.

This education includes not only the intimate details of each airplane’s systems, proven standardized teaching methods, and safety procedures, qualifying CFIs become part of the BPPP family, which opens the door to expanded educational business. For existing BPPP instructors, the academy course is a convenient way to renew their ABS/BPPP-required biennial reaccreditation.

Participating in the Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program was one of the first stories I did for the nascent Flight Training magazine. In large part, the comprehensive, complete, and caring nature of this course helped make the magazine what it became because the BPPP became the aviation education standard against which I compared all others. And it seems that the American Bonanza Society has again raised the flight training bar. – Scott Spangler, Editor

Private Jet travel is more convenient and affordable than most people realize.

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