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The ABS Air Safety Foundation A36

The ABS Air Safety Foundation owns a 1981 A36 Bonanza, serial number E-1849. Originally registered N3819M, after acquisition it was reregistered as N504SJ commemorating ABS’ 50th anniversary (in 2017) and “for” Sam James, founder of what became the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP).

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How does ABS/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 through individual instructor accreditation and the BPPP Instructor Camp program
  • 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 in 2016 to dedicate funds from this donation to purchase, upgrade and operate an A36 Bonanza to meet ABS/ASF's educational goals. The airplane was substantially renovated through the generous support of ABS vendors and individual member donations.


N504SJ was updated in three areas:

Interior: A custom interior was designed and installed by Air Mod in Batavia, Ohio. During this extensive process the cabin interior was repaired and updated to improve soundproofing, increase ease of access for inspection, and limit future wear. Air Mod’s Dennis Wolter chronicled the process in a series of detailed articles in ABS Magazine.


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Paint: ABS/ASF invited member participation in the design of a paint scheme that proudly identifies N504SJ as the ABS Air Safety Foundation Bonanza. Ideas from member participants and ABS staff where combined and enhanced by Craig Barnett of Scheme Designers. The result was digitized for layout and expertly applied by the paint shop at Biggs Aircraft in Oklahoma. During this process Biggs also replaced some wing skin and made other repairs and improvements to the airframe.

Avionics: A phenomenal panel upgrade was made possible by a generous donation of equipment by Garmin International. Other vendors also donated equipment or offered items at a deep discount. The entire installation was done by Bevan Aviation in Wichita, Kansas.

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N3819M panel



Advance Paint Technology

Air Mod

Alpha Systems

Approach Aviation


B&C Specialty

Biggs Aircraft


Door Steward


Floats and Fuel Cells


Gee Bee Aeroproducts

MidContinent Instruments and Avionics

Mountain View Aviation

O’Halloran Aviation

Scheme Designers

Skandia Aerospace

Southern Aero Services

SRS Aviation

Vantage Plane Plastics


Accept our apologies if any sponsor was inadvertently removed from this list. If your firm was omitted please let us know at and we’ll add you to the list. Thank you for your generous support!