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BPPP Flight Program Change Announcement

February 19, 2024 by ABS Air Safety Foundation Board of Directors

BPPP Announcement

February 19, 2024

The ABS Air Safety Foundation works to ensure our resources, and your generous donations, are focused on products and services that improve safety and proficiency in the Beech community, and which ABS Members tell us enhance their Beechcraft experience. After nearly a year of studying Member use patterns and listening to feedback from the Member and instructor community, the ASF Board and staff have decided to discontinue ABS’ direct participation in in-flight training effective July 31, 2024 to dedicate our resources to the BPPP online and live seminar training products widely used by Members.   

Thousands of views of ABSWeb webinars, online maintenance videos, and pilot training and instructor training programs tell us that Beech owners overwhelmingly come to ABS to learn more about safe operation, maintenance and ownership of Beech Bonanzas, Debonairs, Barons and Travel Airs. In Member surveys you’ve told us online training is among the very most important products ABS provides. 

The data shows that in 2023 over 1000 ABS Members completed a full BPPP BEST or FOCUS online course. At year’s end 700 more Members were partway through completing one of these programs, and another 300 had enrolled in one of the online BPPP offerings. Previous years showed similar Member use of BPPP online courses. What we have not seen is a similar ABS Member uptake in the flight portion of the BPPP program. When it comes to locating and paying for a highly qualified instructor to deliver the flight portion of the BPPP training, only about 250 Members used this option in 2023, up slightly from previous years.

As we reviewed this information, our Members have spoken. 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.

What will change is that the ASF Board and staff have decided to step out of the scheduling, completion certification, and financial management loop between our Members and their chosen instructors for their flight training. ABS’ direct participation in the flight training product will end as of July 31, 2024. If members have paid ABS for the flight training but have not received it by the end of July, we will provide a full reimbursement of that tuition.

The ASF spends 20 or more staff hours each week, and tens of thousands of dollars each year, on insurance, promotion and administration of BPPP flights. The portion of tuition retained by the ABS from the flight portion of BPPP falls well short of the funds necessary to fully cover what we spend on that part of the program. This change will allow us to redirect our resources to the things ABS Members tell us is important to them: information-rich type-specific online training, online content related to maintenance both for airplane owners and certificated mechanics, and an increased number of BPPP LIVE, ABS Maintenance Academy and ABS Flight Instructor Crosstalk in-person events at more locations. With our renewed focus on what you’ve shown us is important to you, we can accelerate introduction of new Beechcraft Essential Systems and Techniques (BEST) courses and other valuable online and live training content to give the Membership what you’ve told us you want from the ABS Air Safety Foundation.

We believe this opportunity will allow the ASF to play to its strengths and the instructors to play to theirs. We will continue to provide the book learning to new Beechcraft pilots and will continue to train new instructors. We will also maintain our online “Find an Instructor” referral list to ensure pilots can find expert resources nearby to complete the flight portion of their training, and make insurance underwriters more aware of the instructors on this list.

This decision is the result of months-long consideration, member polls and flight training data. It focuses the resources of ASF and your Member donations directly on the products and services Members want and use to protect lives and preserve the Beechcraft fleet

Thank you for using your ABS Member services and the educational products of the ABS Air Safety Foundation.


FAQs

We will add to the FAQs as Member questions come in.

 

Q: I’ve already paid for BPPP flight training. Can I get a refund?

A: Yes. We prefer you complete your flight training on or before July 31, 2024 because that’s what you paid for. But the refund policy noted on your payment confirmation still applies. Contact ABS Member services at bppp@bonanza.org or 316-945-1700 if you have questions or wish to get a refund.


Q: Why is the end of BPPP-managed flight operations July 31st? Can we extend it for bad weather, etc.?

A: The ABS Air Safety Foundation’s current insurance policy for conducting flight instruction expires at 12:01 am August 1st. All BPPP-managed flights must be complete no later than July 31st. ASF will continue to follow the refund policy after that date if weather or some other factor prevents a flight from occurring before the end of flight operations.


Q: What about Members who rely on earning a BPPP flight certificate to obtain insurance or for insurance discounts?

A: You still have plenty of options, from our existing instructor cadre, many of whom are recognized by insurance underwriters directly in addition to through BPPP, plus vendors like FlightSafety, BPT and more. You will still receive certificates of completion for the online BPPP training. Your flight training will continue to be endorsed by your chosen instructor. Over the last couple of years we have noted underwriters have been reluctant or unable to provide discounts. One exception is the AVEMCO Safety Rewards program that gives the same discount to FAA WINGS and similar programs it applies to BPPP, BPT and others. With only 2% of our Members using BPPP to manage flights, the need for a BPPP flight certificate to get insurance appears to apply only to a very small number of members who have other options.


Q: I want to complete a BPPP flight before this program discontinues. What are my deadlines?

A: You’ll always have full access to all the ABS Online Learning Center content but the last day to purchase a BPPP BEST or BPPP Focus flight is June 30, 2024. The deadline to complete your flight experience is July 31, 2024.


Q: Will ASF continue to accredit experienced piston Beech flight instructors?

A: We are looking into whether, and to what extent, ABS can endorse flight instructors. We are continuing the ABS Flight Instructor Academy and ABS Flight Instructor Crosstalk programs to train instructors on type-specific techniques. Depending on our final review, we may treat instructor referrals he same as we do mechanics: those who complete ASF training programs will appear in searches using the Find an Instructor function on the ABS website, but there is no ABS endorsement other than their course completion certificate. We’ll update this answer after we complete our review.


Q: What if I need an “insurance approved” instructor for training for my insurance coverage?

A: Many of the current BPPP instructors have personal arrangements for insurance approval and may list this on their profile page on the ABS website. As part of ASF’ new participation in the Aviation Insurance Association, we will develop guidance for individual flight instructors to earn insurance approval. Existing training providers like FlightSafety International and BPT are insurance-approved providers, and BPT already advertises it conducts flight training with pilots who have completed ABS/ASF online courses.  


Q: Can I still get FAA WINGS credit for BPPP courses?

A: Yes. We will still validate a full level of WINGS Basic ground training for those who complete an online or live BPPP course. Individual instructors can validate WINGS credit for flight training, so you can combine ABS’ ground credit with your chosen instructor’s flight credit to earn FAA WINGS.