Beech Bonanza 33/35/36 Recurrent Training Weekend

Bonanza Training

Bonanza Simulator

Lee Elson CFII and Flight Level Aviation are happy to announce a joint Bonanza 33/35/36 training program designed to take you beyond just the normal procedures found in your Bonanza.

Our past Bonanza Weekends were very successful (click here for feedback).   Send an email by clicking here if you would like to notified when we schedule new Bonanza Weekends.

Click here to read a recent article in ABS Magzine about Bonanza Weekend.

The two day program will consist of time in Flight Level Aviation's full motion flight simulator as well flight training in your own Bonanza.  The full motion simulator is a 6-degree freedom of motion high performance piston airplane simulator located at Greene County Airport in Waynesburg, PA (KWAY).   Training will be conducted 8AM to 5PM each day with 4 pilots and 2 instructors.  The pilots will train in pairs, alternating between flying and observing and alternating between flight instruction with Lee Elson and simulator training with an experienced simulator instructor.  Additionally Lee will conduct ground school in a group setting with all 4 pilots on topics specific to safely flying and economically owning a Bonanza.

If weather does not permit sufficient flight time in the airplane, additional simulator time and ground school will be provided.

Flight training will be conducted out of KWAY. If weather conditions are not VFR (KWAY does not have an instrument approach as of yet), KMGW can be used as an alternate location for arrival and flight training. KMGW is just a 30 minute drive from KWAY.

All Bonanza flight training will be conducted by Lee Elson, an experienced CFII and Bonanza owner, using a Bonanza Training Checklist which he developed.

This two-day program must be scheduled in advance. Send an e-mail to if you have any questions about this new program or would like to set up a training schedule.

The cost of this unique program is $795 and includes simulator, ground and flight training from 8AM to 5PM on both days of the program (Sat-Sun, Mon-Tues, or Wed-Thurs). 
Flight Level Aviation provides a training experience which is customized to each pilot and type-specific for the Bonanza.  Bonanza recurrent training involves a combination of simulator-based and airplane-based training.

The program price does not include food, lodging, car rental or parking/landing fees. Two to four students will be accommodated during this two-day program.


IMPORTANT:  We realize that flight instruction in Bonanzas with a single yoke presents a flight safety issue which is particularly important to consider.  Therefore, pilots who wish to receive instruction in an airplane equipped with only a single yoke must be qualified and proficient to act as pilot-in-command of their airplane.  Pilots who are qualified and proficient to fly under VFR but not IFR may schedule the simulator portion of the weekend before the airplane portion since an instrument proficiency check may be conducted entirely in the simulator.  Lee does possess an FAA exemption permitting him to instruct in a single-yoke Bonanza if both Lee and the student are qualified to act as PIC.

Also for each airplane in which Lee Elson CFII will instruct students, it is necessary for the airplane owner to provide a certificate of insurance listing Lee as an Approved Pilot with a Waiver of Subrogation.   This is necessary even in those cases where Lee will instruct with the airplane owner acting as pilot-in-command.

About Lee Elson CFII/PhD

elson pictureLee Elson began flying in 1981. He moved through the usual Cessna and Piper trainers and low performance models before discovering, in 1987, that a Beech Bonanza offered the right combination of speed and comfort for his family. In that year, he and his instrument rated wife bought into an A36 that they still own and fly today. As of 2004, more than 1300 of his 2400 hours are in the Bonanza with many of those hours spent on trips between his base in the Los Angeles area and a family vacation cabin in northern Vermont. Lee takes an active role in the maintenance and refurbishment of their A36 and has acquired an extensive set of resources of value to the Bonanza owner/operator/pilot.

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In 1998, Lee became a flight instructor and, since then, has participated in a variety of training activities on a regular basis. These activities range from instructing primary students in trainers, to instrument and CFI candidates in high performance aircraft, to organizing and teaching ground school classes. As of 2004, he has accumulated more than 600 hours of dual given and he has a 100% success rate for first time practical test takers that he has trained.

Lee has been educated in the physical sciences, having earned a master's degree in physics and a PhD in atmospheric sciences. As both a pilot and an atmospheric researcher for many years, his knowledge of weather is both practical and professional. Combined with an extensive knowledge of the Web, he is able to provide trainees with a valuable set of weather resources.


Bonanza 33/35/36 Training Syllabus

Flight Level Aviation is uniquely able to offer a thorough Bonanza 33/35/36-specific checkout that includes:

  • In-flight training by a CFII who actively owns/flies his own A36 and is also a trained atmospheric scientist who understands weather
  • Simulator-based training using a full-motion simulator with a high performance single-engine flight model

The training weekend will include a review of the accident and incident history of various Bonanza models, with special attention to specific features of these aircraft which have established trends in prior accident evaluations.  The goal is an understanding of the failure modes, handling quirks, and operating peculiarities specific to the model Bonanza flown by each pilot.  Training will then include items selected from the Bonanza Training Syllabus based upon the particular skills and interests of each pilot.

Bonanza 33/35/36 Training Checklist

All Bonanza training will be both individualized according to a given pilot’s need and will include elements selected by the pilots and instructor based upon the following options:

  • Review of Bonanza 33/35/36 accident history, with special attention to specific features of this aircraft (for example: tail flutter, non-standard gear handle position in early models, fuel mismanagement-management) that have established trends in prior accident evaluations.
  • Preflight inspection of critical items that are not safety wired (e.g. right main gear door mechanism, tachometer cable, alternator capacitor, mixture control assembly at throttle)
  • Usable fuel versus fuel tank capacity
  • How much oil is too much? How much is too little?
  • Emergency procedures for vapor lock (fuel pump on, switch tanks)
  • Proper operation of electric fuel (boost) pump on low and high settings
  • Proper techniques for switching tanks
  • Full throttle activates high setting of engine driven fuel pump (important if engine failure occurs on takeoff)
  • Procedures to use if door opens in flight 
  • Special preflight items including rudder brackets, control cables visible in wheel well, proper seating of fuel caps
  • Proper tire inflation
  • Hot start procedures that work
  • Location of nosewheel mechanical indicator (some models)
  • Location of spare alternator fuses and circuit breakers
  • Preflight inspection of propeller spinner and propeller blades 
  • Emphasize proper leaning and cylinder temperature monitoring procedures
  • Limiting factor for summer climbs = Cylinder head temps
  • How to interpret engine analyzer data (e.g. troubleshooting)
  • Emergency gear extension procedure
  • How to check your shimmy dampener
  • Go-Around procedure (timing of gear up?, not specified in POH)
  • Switching fuel tanks consistently enroute 
  • *** Electric Trim = Most Dangerous part of aircraft *** Runaway trim can be unrecoverable if undetected. Extreme control forces can occur by attempting to manually control pitch when autopilot is engaged. Need to memorize location of electric trim circuit breaker
  • Maximum altitude loss during autopilot malfunction:Implications for autopilot-coupled approaches
  • Need for autopilot disengage check as part of pre-flight/runup
  • Need to memorize location of gear motor circuit breaker in event motor stays on after takeoff
  • Procedures to verify gear-down (gear-down light/switch bulbs, mechanical indicator, audible warning/retard throttle) 
  • Procedures for landing gear-up if necessary
  • Potential high sink-rate on final with no power vs. long rollout if final flown with power on
  • Operating lean of peak vs. rich of peak?, GAMIjectors?
  • Cowl flap operation (keep open in summer esp. if digital engine probe not available?)
  • *** Accident History: Dual vacuum pumps and/or dual vacuum/electric attitude indicators seem essential
  • Max Takeoff Weight vs. Max Landing Weight
  • Takeoff C.G. vs. landing C.G. (some models)
  • Critical circuit breakers – Gear motor, electric trim, autopilot
  • Methods to deactivate autopilot (intentionally and unintentionally)
  • Never manually overpower autopilot in pitch!
  • Note and observe altitude guideline for maximum altitude loss if autopilot malfunctions
  • Autopilot preflight techniques (multiple axis)
  • Max gear operating speed 
  • Max gear-down speed (facilitates emergency descent esp. if there is fire)
  • Recommendations for use of flaps to improve short/soft field takeoff performance (not specified in POH)
  • Timing of gear-up decision and related safety factors
  • Location and use of alternate static source
  • Location and use of firewall air shutoff
  • Location and use of alternate (engine intake) air "T" handle
  • Location of fuel vents (check during preflight)
  • Caution against ground operation with significant power esp. in vicinity of stones
  • Caution high power or taxiing over stones/gravel/soft fields during ground operations
  • Continental Top Care program for engine trend monitoring
  • Importance of engine baffling/oil cooler to engine life
  • Alternate points of view re: leaning engine on ground
  • Consider 2 weight/balance lists for some models (with 5th/6th seat(s) installed vs. removed)
  • Need to include fuel flow in scan on takeoff run, proper understanding of what is being measured (fuel pressure, not flow) on factory gauge, implications on engine operation and pilot reactions to low vs. high fuel flow
  • Failure modes with dual vacuum pump, including need to inspect/replace vacuum filters periodically



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