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CBS, TV channel 9, coverage:

TV Channel 9, CBS  reporter, John Henry  covered the  "Opening Party" for Build a Plane launch.    It was featured on Dec 14, 2016 at the  11 PM news.  He will return in six months for a follow up report.  

Link: http.//

Professional aviation group magazine coverage:

Supportive magazine articles:  Coverage in the Women Pilots 99s (bi-annual magazine);  Aircraft Owners Pilots Association (AOPA); Women in Aviation (bi-annual magazine),  Short Wing Piper Association magazine,  Royal Aeronautical Society web site,  British International School web site at

10154352694378897/, and others.    

Newspaper coverage: 

Newspaper article: Sept. 28, 2016 in China Daily USA ,  Page 2, " British International School of Washington Encourages Students to Build Airplanes."  (Article describes the “Build a Plane Club” and STEM program).

Short Wing Piper Club Organization

     The Short Wing Piper Magazine  has supported the project from the beginning,  allowing fans to follow our progress;  Many people knew Mary and her legacy while others were just Pacer fans.  This great SWPC Organization is a wealth of wisdom concerning historical accuracy, restoration advice, positive encouragement, and interesting Short Wing Piper aviation news.  

Short Wing Piper -The News Magazine

The Short Wing Piper Magazine has published three articles following our adventure:

The FIRST article, Short Wing Piper News Magazine, Oct-Dec 2017 issue, pgs 76-83  "Technical Corner: How Do You Honor an Aviation Legend?  Mary Feik and her Short Wing Piper PA-20/135 hp N2103A" :

The SECOND article, Short Wing Piper News Magazine, Jan-March 2018, pgs 45-50, "Technical Corner: How Do You Honor a CAP Legend? Mary Feik and N2103A Update" : 

The THIRD article, Short Wing Piper News Magazine, Oct-Dec 2018 issue, pgs 85-90, "Technical Corner:  On Brave Wings She Flies".  

This article followed the process of getting the FAA approvals and final planning.

Thank you Editor, Eleanor Mills!

N2103A - A Cover Girl !!!!

The FOURTH (and final article) featured the "COVER PAGE" in the Jan-March 2019 issue.  

And, besides the photograph, there is a lovely "from beginning to end" progress story. It would be hard to say who is prouder: the 30 BIS high school students, their aviation/pilot teachers: Lucia Mencia, Melinda Benson or their technical supporters: Joe Vala, IA and Chuck Amirkanian, AP;  or the many others who donated time to bring about the complete rebuild of this project.  

And, because of this STEM restoration project, we were able to support two new FAA licensed private pilots.  Mary S. Feik's legacy was fulfilled. 

As in each of the previous SWPC articles, this 4th edition followed the process from beginning to end.  By this final article, we had SWPC senior member "groupies"  from all over the country, that delightfully sent us e-mail supportive messages. Everyone was so pleased that it was a successful restoration project and that it was a STEM promotion of aviation knowledge project.     

Pilots are all crazy and wonderful.  

Channel 5 News - Frederick, Md

On June 20, 2018 DVM TV staff reporter, Jordan Lindsay was invited to participate in the "Discovery Flight" day organized by Bravo Flight Training at FDK airport.  Jordan bravely boarded  a Bravo Flight Training plane with a certified flight instructor (CFI) and went aloft (as passenger) to experience the excitement of the BIS students.  Later, Ms. Lindsay interviewed the excited and inspired students, Brenda Tibbs of Bravo Flight Training and the mentors, including Lucia Mencia, Melinda Benson and Gareth Hall.  

     Melinda Benson, BIS instructor and pilot, was interviewed by DVM TV staff reporter Jordan Lindsay about the satisfaction of developing a project that has resulted in an enrichment of the future careers of these students. Melinda Benson noted that as STEM recipients, some of these students, who had no history of aviation interest would now consider engineering and aviation as career paths. 

Mary's passion and vision lives on!


      Jennifer's report, "Students take to the sky when planning their future- Students learn more about aviation" aired on Hagerstown, MD, Local Chanel 7 TV June 20, 2018. Here is the link:

Nord Anglia Education Journal

The British International School is part of the Nord Anglia Education Group.   BIS students themselves wrote an article  about the Build a Plane club and the philosophy of "mens et manus" (mind and hand)  hands-on approach to learning.

Royal Aeronautical Society - Education Committee

The Royal Aeronautical Society, Washington DC Branch has been a gracious sponsor of the project. Melinda Benson, chairman of the education branch, presided at the scholarship awards that were presented to three worthy students interested in making advancements in aviation studies.     The RAeS provided  NE Rowe scholarships (to two University of DC Aviation Maintenance program) and to a "Young Aviator of the Year" award to two students to go to the Royal Aeronautical Society Education Meeting in LONDON, England. There they learned about generations of famous British aviators.

Royal Aeronautical Society Magazine

            After the awards,  Lucia Mencia made a short presentation at the British Embassy Awards Ceremony to promote the STEM aviation program and support its replication in other schools.

          The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Journal, the news-piece of this august aviation group has an article written by Alan Hickling, ret. Royal Navy pilot.  His article is at the Royal Aeronautical Society, Vol V, Spring 2018 RAeS Journal, Washington DC Branch (pages 25 -26) link:

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer Magazine - 

CAP News

CAP Crl Mary S. Feik was involved in teaching young cadets and aviators.  Vicky Travis' informative article published on April 24, 2018.   Ms Travis did a lot of research on Mary Feik and her impressive legacy. She has a lovely biography and tribute to Mary's kindness.  The link to the Civil Air Patrol Volunteer Magazine is:

Aviation Digest - Jan. 2018

 Aviation Digest of January 2018, featured an article by Melinda Benson and interviews of the students: "STEM Program DC Youth Aviation".  Some of the students themselves contributed to this article on Pg 43.  The link is:

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) 

- e Media Magazine.

David Tulis, Associate Editor of eMedia/Web AOPA came to the hangar at W32 on June 6, 2018 when the engine was turned over and the plane came alive!    Mr. Tulis interviewed the students, Joe Vala- IA, Chuck Amirkhanian- A&P and the teaching mentors: Melinda Benson- pilot and Lucia Mencia- pilot. Later he participated in the Discovery Flight day at Bravo Flight Training, FDK where he observed the growth of these future aviators. Mr. Tulis published a very interesting article in the AOPA - e Media Magazine.  The link to the article is: 

Need to get the DT site:  301 695 2110

© 2017   DC Youth Aviation - Build a Plane, Inc.

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