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Mary Feik

 

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Mechanic, engineer

and flight trainer

 

 

Mary Feik overhauled her first automobile engine when she was 13, but turned to aircraft engines and military aircraft when she was 18. She taught aircraft maintenance to crew chiefs and mechanics for the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. During World War II she became an expert on several fighter aircraft and is credited with becoming the first woman engineer in research and development in the Air Technical Service Command's Engineering Division at Wright Field. She flew more than 5,000 hours, serving as a B-29 flight engineer, an engineering observer, and a pilot in fighter, bomber, cargo, and training aircraft. She designed high performance and jet fighter pilot transition trainers as well as aircraft maintenance trainers. She has authored pilot training manuals for many military aircraft and engineering reports for armed forces distribution. Mrs. Feik is a professional restorer of antique and classic aircraft, and has worked at the National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Restoration Facility. She flies and maintains her own Piper Pacer aircraft. Awarded the Order of Merit for outstanding leadership and support of Aerospace Education by the World Aerospace Education Organization, Mrs. Feik was inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame during the conference of Women in Aviation, International, in March, 1994. The FAA presented Mrs. Feik with the Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" Award in appreciation of dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism, and many outstanding maintenance contributions to further the cause of aviation safety. The award honors the Wright brothers' mechanic and engineer and requires the recipient to have more than 50 years of experience. Mrs. Feik has had a life-long dedication to aviation with the Civil Air Patrol and other aviation organizations, and has received many awards for her efforts.

From Civil Air Patrol's 1997 National Congress On Aviation And Space Education (NCASE) Conference Program.


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