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The Importance of Belonging to American Bonanza Society

Posted on September 1, 2020 by Todd Peterson

When I began flying more than 20 years ago, I quickly realized that as much as I enjoyed being in the air and around airplanes, I also enjoyed just hanging around the local airport and talking with other pilots. I’m very grateful that over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know so many wonderful people throughout the aviation community.

I’ve learned so much from other pilots and truly enjoy hearing their stories and lessons learned. I also appreciate the opportunity to pass on what I’ve learned and help pilots get as much enjoyment from their aircraft as possible while avoiding many of the pitfalls. That’s the value of belonging to a community, especially one as small and tightly-knit as we have in aviation.

Specific to Beechcraft, one of the most important community members I’ve found is the American Bonanza Society (ABS). As Beechcraft owners, pilots and enthusiasts, we should each understand and appreciate the tremendous value and number of resources ABS offers to its members. I’ve been a member since 2003, became a Life Member last December, and encourage all of my Beech clients to join and benefit as well.

To highlight just one part of the organization, consider the ABS Air Safety Foundation (ASF), whose mission is to protect lives and preserve the Beechcraft fleet. The ASF accomplishes this mission through programs, products and services that promote and assist in the safe operation, maintenance and ownership of Beechcraft Bonanzas, Debonairs, Barons and Travel Airs.

Given the significantly improved safety record that ASF has helped members achieve, it’s clear that becoming a member of the American Bonanza Society is a vital component to the safe operation of a Bonanza or Baron.

Not convinced? In the March 2018 edition of ABS Magazine, they reported on the work of Jeff Edwards, PhD, who published the scholarly paper “The Efficacy of Aircraft Type Club Safety” in 2015 as part of his Doctoral thesis. In his research, Dr. Edwards investigated accidents involving airplane types supported by major type clubs, including ABS. In each, he noted a substantial reduction in accidents among members compared to nonmembers in the same airplane types.

This held true whether or not the mishap pilot had completed the type club’s flight instruction program — i.e. exposure to the continuous flow of operational and maintenance information through the club is enough to markedly improve the overall safety of the type club member.

Specific to ABS, Dr. Edwards concludes:

In 2013 there were 49 US accidents involving subject aircraft. Nonmembers accounted for 75.5% [of these accidents]. Additionally, there were 12 fatal accidents in the fleet in 2013, yet only one (8.3%) involved an ABS member. The data indicates that for 2013, members of the American Bonanza Society were 2.5 times less likely to have a serious accident and 11 times less likely than nonmembers to be involved in a fatal accident.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of an organization that works diligently to serve Beech owners, has our best interests in mind, and helps us protect our very lives?

The Executive Director of the ABS Air Safety Foundation, Thomas P. Turner, is on our subscriber list, and he recently asked me to share this information with you. We are happy to do so, and want to thank Tom, Whit, and everyone at ABS for all they do to support Beech owners and pilots.

Join ABS today to help you fly safely and to increase your involvement in the Beechcraft community.

Sign up and find out more here: