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Bonanza Society opens unique internshipBonanza Society opens unique internship

Students and recent graduates seeking a professional aviation career path connected to a storied brand of aircraft may apply for a paid internship that could shape the future of the American Bonanza Society. Young aviation professionals can expect total immersion into the Wichita, Kansas-based society’s safety, communications, and outreach functions with an “unparalleled introduction and access to industry” said ABS Executive Director Tom Turner.

The American Bonanza Society offers a paid internship program to support functions at the society's Kansas headquarters, safety foundation, fly-ins, and special events. Photo courtesy of the American Bonanza Society.

Turner said the position is perfect for aviation safety or business management students that want to make a difference in aviation without spending their time in a cockpit or a in a maintenance bay.

The Bonanza society internship program pays $500 weekly and was created to identify students who could one day see themselves moving among the industry’s leaders, regulators, and policy makers. It also provides an opportunity for the interns to make initial contacts in the aviation field and “might be considered a stepping stone to a position with the National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA,” or another government entity, Turner added.

The internship program was created in 2016 to make students aware of “careers that are exciting, unique, and outside the scope of what many students might consider traditional aviation positions,” said Turner.

For instance, the ABS supports its pilots with safety and maintenance programs, and also acts as a one stop shop for brand-specific concerns or questions. ABS representatives also travel to select events across the United States to keep members up to speed on safety and maintenance procedures, and provide support for pilots attending social events. Turner said interns could expect to be involved in planning for fly-ins such as AOPA’s regional events, along with airshows such as EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The internship program also is set to play a key role in the society’s future plans.

“We are unveiling a new program this year,” said Turner. “The Bonanza society is initiating a weekend seminar to get Beechcraft-experienced flight instructors” and others interested in Beechcraft airplanes to “share discussions and best practices we’ve learned that can help improve quality of instruction in all Beechcraft aircraft.”

The first of these seminars will be held in San Diego, March 23 through  25, and the second event is in Frederick, Maryland, August 18 through 20.

“The intern would help with both of the programs,” said Turner. “They’d be involved in helping us staff it, and with the right person, there might even be an opportunity for them to make a presentation.”

Turner said an optimal candidate would have some flying experience and might be seeking a management career, but may desire a more regular schedule than that of a regional airline pilot facing variable work times and on-call status. An aviation-minded person with "some flight or mechanical experiences as well as basic familiarity reading Beechcraft manuals and pilot operating handbooks" would be well suited to the internship.

“Somebody with that kind of background could potentially be someone we could hire after graduation, if that all came together,” added Turner. “I’m not asking for a Bonanza expert or anything, but we are looking for somebody who has a passion for personal and business aviation and has at least a certain level of experience with this class of airplane, and an ability to communicate information about it.”

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Aviation Industry, Aviation Organizations, Scholarship

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