The 10,000-member strong American Bonanza Society’s Air Safety Foundation (ASF) in early May announced a new addition to the ABS’s online learning center, the release of the first in a series of training modules called the Beechcraft Essential Systems and Techniques, or BEST program. BEST is the next generation enhancement of the ABS’s Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP) that began in 1983. All ABS online training, including the new BEST program, is free to American Bonanza Society members in the ABS Online Learning Center.
ASF’s executive director Tom Turner explained BEST’s evolution. “You need a tremendous amount of information to fly your Beechcraft safely and efficiently. The BEST course highlights the essentials—the systems knowledge and pilot skills most important to mastering your Beechcraft. The BEST course expands on the information in the pilot’s operating handbook and other sources to highlight systems knowledge from a pilot’s standpoint, including systems design and operation and the changes that occur through the model line.” Each BEST module focuses on a series of Beechcraft models—both Bonanzas and Barons. The first release includes S35 through V35B Bonanzas, C33A, E33A/C and F33A/C Debonairs and Bonanzas, and 36 and A36 Bonanzas—1964 through 2005 models, originally equipped with Continental IO-520 or IO-550 engines.
“Where differences occur, we point them out by airplane model, model year and serial number, so you can focus on the information that applies directly to the Beechcraft you fly. BEST will [eventually] include 25 learning modules, averaging 13 minutes each, that will allow members to focus quickly on topics across the entire range of fixed and mobile online platforms. Information comes from the Beech Pilot’s Operating Handbook, from other manufacturers and experts, and from ABS’ nearly four decades of experience providing type-specific training in Beech piston airplanes.” New model-specific BEST courses for each major variant will be introduced over the next year, prioritized by the number of each variant in the flying fleet.
Turner added, “Complete the BEST training and you are also eligible to fly with one of over 100 BPPP-accredited flight instructors near your location, on your schedule, to earn a full BPPP certificate…training that makes you safer, more proficient and more confident in your Beechcraft, and may result in a substantial discount on aircraft insurance.” An update of the now-legacy BPPP Online program remains available for pilots of airplanes whose BEST course is not yet available.