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Mon, Feb 26, 2024

Bonanza Society Shucks In-Person Flight Training

Owner Group Finds More Demand for Web-Based Training Services Over In-Person Flight Ops

The American Bonanza Society, the cornerstone Beechcraft owner's group, has announced it will wind back on in-person educational events, ending its direct participation in real-life flight training.

The group said that it decided to pivot away from flight training after a year of member study, looking directly at what educational resources saw the most demand in the group. As it happens, flight training wasn't nearly as popular as internet-based offerings. The Society's online maintenance videos, webinars, and course material for Bonanzas, Debonairs, Barons, and TravelAirs were used by more than 2,000 Society members. In comparison, only about 250 members used the Society's flight training in the same time span - and that's a high-water mark for the program.

"As we reviewed this information, our Members have spoken" said the American Bonanza Society notice. "You want ABS Air Safety Foundation to deliver industry-leading educational content, but you prefer to arrange your flight training directly with your chosen instructor."

"We have heard that directly from the source. BPPP instructors tell us they fly an average of 11 directly-scheduled training events in ABS-type airplanes for every one ABS/ASF-managed flight. ABS Members use our website overwhelmingly to seek out highly qualified instructors for flight training, and we will continue to support this need by training and identifying more instructors to give you even more training options. BPPP training materials and syllabi will be available to all ABS Members and flight instructors on a new Flight Training Resources web page. Making good information available to pilots and instructors will not change."

From now on, the Society's board and staff will "step out of the scheduling, completion certification, and financial management loop between our Members and their chosen instructors for their flight training." The Society's direct participation in flight ops will end on July 31, 2024, with refunds issued for any outstanding training at that time (when the flight training insurance policy ends).

Of course, the money always counts for more than they say on the surface, and here is no exception - the Foundation that backs the Society said it spends more than 20 staff hours a week, and "tens of thousands of dollars each year on insurance, promotion and administration of BPPP flights." The portion they retain for tuition costs now "falls well short of the funds necessary to fully cover what we spend on that part of the program."

FMI: www.bonanza.org

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