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The ABS Air Safety Foundation A36

The ABS Air Safety Foundation has acquired N3819M (serial number E-1849), a 1981 A36 Bonanza.

How will ASF use this A36?

  • As subject of training videos for Beechcraft pilots, flight instructors and mechanics
  • Training and standardizing the next generation of BPPP flight instructors
  • Hands-on mechanic training in the ABS Maintenance Academy
  • ABS Ambassador flights for pilots wanting a flight in a Beechcraft as part of their decision about what type of airplane to buy
  • BPPP flights for pilots wishing to train before they accept delivery of their airplane, and for international members traveling to the U.S. who desire to take BPPP training, when commercial operators are unable to fill the need 
  • To "show the ABS flag" at aviation events
  • Travel on Society business
  • As a flying test-bed for future aircraft longevity studies (such as we needed in the ABS spar web investigation)

A generous gift in the will of member Dick Swenson was earmarked for support of pilot, mechanic and flight instructor training in the name of BPPP founder Sam James. The ABS Air Safety Foundation Board of Directors voted to dedicate funds from this donation to purchase, upgrade and operate an A36 Bonanza to meet ASF's educational goals.

N3819M 1

N3819M panel

What's happening with the ASF airplane?

(updated December 22, 2016)

Before N3819M can adequately represent ABS and the ABS Air Safety Foundation, it must be made presentable.  Here's what is happening or soon will be happening with the ABS/ASF A36:

  1. New paint. N3819M's paint testifies to the fact it had been stored outside for several years prior to acquistion by the Foundation. It needs to be stripped and painted--and we want you to help design the new paint scheme. Scheme Designers, Inc. has volunteered to digitze the winning paint scheme contest entry, and we'll soon announce the generous offer of a well-known facility that will give ASF a deep discount on the cost of painting the airplane.
  2. New registration. When the ASF A36 is painted we will change its registration to N504SJ: 50 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ABS in 2017, and 4SJ "for" BPPP founder Sam James...recognition fulfilling the wishes of late ABS member Dick Swenson, whose generous bequest was used in part to purchase the ABS airplane.
  3. New avionics. The ASF A36 has a perfectly functional panel including a Garmin transponder, GNS530 non-WAAS navigator, and S-Tec 55X autopilot. But we need an ADS-B solution, and would like to upgrade to a WAAS-capable GPS. Several avionics vendors have offered to donate upgrades to the ABS airplane's panel; we'll be making selections and arranging for installation early in 2017.

Our plan is to have N504SJ ready for video production and display at ABS events by late spring/early summer 2017, depending on scheduling of the major upgrades. Meanwhile it is available for BPPP instructional flights and flight instructor accreditation (contact with requests), will be used in some ASF video production on a limited basis (we'll save most production until the paint and panel are complete), and between upgrades will be used for staff travel to ABS events.

Watch this page for updates on the progress of the ABS Air Safety Foundation A36.

Update 1/23/2017

Late in 2016 we announced an ASF A36 Paint Design Contest to our members. We provided a downloadable line drawng of a 1981-vintage A36 (we also printed it in ABS Magazine) and invited members and their families to submit designs. From these suggestions a panel will select a design; Scheme Designers generously volunteered to fine-tune the design to our specifications and digitze it so a paint shop can lay it out on the airplane.

The member or members who submitted the selected design will be honored in ABS Magazine, have a picture taken with the airplane at the 2017 ABS Convention in Wichita, and be recognized by a placard in the airplane itself.

We've received many good ideas, and we may choose features from more than one for the final paint scheme--recognizing those members from whom we took inspiration. You can see the contest entries in the ABS website blog.

Thank you to everyone who submitted designs for the ABS Air Safety Foundaton A36.

The ABS Air Safety Foundation has finalized the paint scheme that will be used on the ABS/ASF A36.

To review, here are the rules that were published with the contest notification:

  • The registration will be N504SJ, commemorating ABS’ 50th anniversary in 2017 and “for” BPPP founder Sam James. The registration must meet all FAA requirements for style and size.
  • The paint scheme should be distinctive without being outlandish.
  • Incorporate the ABS colors of red and black, but you are not limited to these colors.
  • The ABS logo and “” should appear prominently on your design.
  • The design must leave room to accommodate sponsors who contribute equipment and/or financially to the ASF airplane.


Ultimately we took ideas from several of the entries and merged them into a single, final section that is bold, unique, not too “out there”, and positively identifies it as the ABS’ airplane. It also leaves ample room for sponsor logos. Red and black are ABS colors, and the gold symbolizes ABS’ golden anniversary. The ABS logos will appear on the underside of the wings as well, swapped left/right (B on the top left and bottom right).

The members from whom we took inspiration will have their picture taken with the airplane at the 2017 ABS Convention in Wichita and be recognized by a placard in the airplane itself. Those members are:

  • Debra Cooper Step, who inspired a large “B” logo on the tail. We enlarged it even more, for positive identification from across a ramp or as it flies in the pattern. Debra was also first to suggest the use of a gold accent stripe signifying ABS’ “Golden Anniversary” year.
  • Tracy Ginther, who also suggested gold to celebrate ABS’ 50th anniversary.
  • Kennard Johnson, placement of the ABS website address on the cowling lids, and the thin “flying through a ribbon” stripes from the cowling toward the tail that were the genesis of our paint design.
  • Christopher and Susan Lucarelli included a red cabin top that we extended, echoed by several members who suggested we duplicate the Textron Aviation ABS Sport Package G36 scheme.

There were several nods to historic Bonanza paint designs that we liked, but were not unique enough to positively identify the ABS airplane. We also liked several tail logo designs but wanted one large enough to be visible from across a ramp or when the airplane was seen taking off or landing. The final design is similar to one Beech used on its sales demonstration airplanes for several years.

Scheme Designers is digitizing the selected design and will have it for us well before our paint shop date at Biggs Aircraft in Oklahoma in late April. The ASF A36 is currently at Air Mod in Batavia, Ohio for installation of a new interior.

We greatly appreciate our sponsors’ generous help with the ABS Air Safety Foundation’s A36. And thank you to everyone who responded to our Design the Paint Scheme contest!