|AvSport is saddened to report the death on 10 June 2016 of pilot, engineer, Master Mechanic, teacher, and inspiring mentor Col. Mary S. Feik, from complications of cancer. Born in Cleveland, Mary lived in Annapolis, MD, for a total of 52 years. After overhauling her first automobile engine for her father when she was 13, she turned to aircraft engines and military aircraft at the age of 18, and taught aircraft maintenance to crew chiefs and mechanics for the US Army Air Corps in 1942. During WWII, Feik became an expert on many military 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 in Dayton, OH. She flew more than 6,000 hours as pilot in fighter, attack, bomber, cargo, and training aircraft. She qualified as a B-29 Flight Engineer and was an engineering analyst in test aircraft for flight and maintenance requirements. On February 24, 1996, she was the first woman to be presented The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA. She was a Life Member of the Civil Air Patrol, a recipient of the CAP Distinguished Service Medal, a CAP Colonel, and had the third achievement in the cadet program named for her. In April 2016, her local Civil Air Patrol Squadron, MD028 Annapolis Composite Squadron, was rechartered as the Col. Mary S. Feik Composite Squadron. She was named a Maryland Aviation Pioneer in 1998, and was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame in 2015. The National Aeronautics Association awarded the Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award for Achievement to her in 2003, the Frank G. Brewer Trophy in 2006, and the Katharine Wright Award in 2013. Her portrait was added to the First Flight Shrine at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in 2014, when she was inducted into the First Flight Society.|
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This page last updated 17 June 2016
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