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Read about some past events here:

Debi Dreyfuss Dare to be Different Award!

The 2019 winners are Lucy Mencia (Washington DC Chapter) for her instrument rating and Julia Levitina (Eastern PA Chapter) for her Private Pilot Certificate. Their submissions were seen as exceptionally creative in concept and in delivery, and conveyed their love of aviation in the spirit of the Debi Dreyfuss Award.  CONGRATULATIONS!

We received a large number of highly competitive, very original submissions this year, and these two were considered truly exceptional. Each was awarded $1,500.00 for their aviation goals.

We will post Lucy and Julia's submissions in the next few days on this website to provide transparency and insight for the 2020 Award cycle.


Holiday Party

A group of 99s met on January 11th, 2020 at Laura Takacs' home in Washington DC . It was great to meet two newly minted pilots, plus many old-time friends. We even had four members present, who live in Washington DC proper.  Everyone brought a lovely dish to share, and we continued our tradition of a "white elephant" gift exchange.

Happy New Year!

Debi Dreyfuss Dare to be Different Award "DDDD"! (Open to Mid-Atlantic Section only)

Hello, DC99s- Happy New Year <almost> We have extended the deadline for submission to the Debi Dreyfuss Dare to be Different (DDDD) award to JAN 31, 2020.  This award is managed through our Chapter (on behalf of our current <totally awesome> Governor and Award sponsor, Debi Dreyfuss) and is one of the most unique and interesting funding opportunities out there. The rules are simple:


1. Applicant must be a Mid-Atlantic 99 or student pilot member in current standing (which means join now and apply by 1/31. Note: Student pilots will need a student pilot certificate).

2. Goals must be aviation oriented

3. The award goes to the most unusual application


The award is for $1,500. if fewer than 5 entries are submitted, and $3,000. if 5 or more entries are submitted (this is to be spent however you would like to support your aviation endeavors, and the funds are available quickly, i.e., by late Feb or March 2020).


This is NOT the standard type of application where you write essays, compile letters of support and tally budgets, etc. —this is a chance to be creative in expressing your goals (what you are doing and what you will use the funds for).  No rules on format—just ‘Dare to be Different’


Have fun with this, enjoy the lack of structure and let me know if you have any questions.


My very best wishes for 2020,


Newsletter Fall 2019

Thank you Debi! We have a Newsletter at last. Enjoy!

MId-Atlantic Section donates $7000

The Mid-Atlantic Section donated $7000 to the Rappahanock Aviation Outreach to build an aviation themed playground at Stafford Airport. Stephanie Johnson of the Old Dominion chapter accepted the award.

Mid-Atlantic Section Meeting 10/18/2019

Successful Mid-Atlantic Section meeting. Leesburg, VA. Thanks a million to Kathleen O'Neil and all who helped make this a fun and educational weekend!

Check out the comments section for details, and add your own thoughts. Thanks!

Summer Pool Party - 8/10/2019

Yearly pool and Birthday party at Linda's. Dogs, dinner, cake, and great friends. What better way to spend the afternoon?!

"All we did was build an plane"... or, "Sanity is so OverRated."

Dec 16, 2016    Lucy Mencia, co-Director and Melinda Viteri, co-Director  did  incorporate a Washington DC  501c (3) Non-Profit, D.C Youth Aviation, Build a Plane, Inc.   We established a Suntrust Bank 501 c3 non-profit account for Go- Fund Donations.  We are working on a web-page.   In the 2017 New Year we are going to be searching for $25-30K to fully restore the plane back to flight worthy condition and have an FAA restorer / mechanic working with us (Mr. Vala and Mr. Amirkhanian) approve all necessary FAA certificates, within two years.

Girls Aviation Day

Sept 24 , 2016    Lucy Mencia (DC99) and Carol Caywood (Sugarloaf 99) participated in the Girls Aviation Day at Frederick airport.  They answered questions about how planes fly and about the parts of a plane.  Some of the 99s provided a  few Cessna and Piper planes for the young girls to inspect.  It was also an opportunity for the Girl Scouts to earn an aviation badge. The Civil Air Patrol also presented an  interesting  talk about their role in search and rescue.    Melinda Benson Vitieri (Sugarloaf 99) represented the group at Manassas Airport.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum lecture

Sept 22, 2016       Kathleen O'Neil,  DC99s Vice Chair,  organized a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum that culminated in a GE Aviation Lecture by Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann entitled, "Going The Distance and Breaking Records as a Boeing Test Pilot".  This was a fascinating lecture by a very brave ground-breaker.  Her career has inspired many women pilots.  Her career was achieved through intelligence, grit and unwavering determination to be the best.  This Aviation Lecture was attended by many of the DC99s.  It was a completely packed audience which shows the interest in her life story.   Thank you Kathleen for organizing this wonderful  event at the Smithsonian.


at the British International School...

Sept 14, 20016   Melinda Benson Vitieri (Sugarloaf 99s) and Lucy Mencia (DC99)  presented a talk regarding aviation basics  to the excited students at the British International School in Washington DC.  The presentation was part of the BIS promotion of the STEM curriculum.  The young high school students were very engaged to  learn about aviation, how planes fly, how engines work and other topics.  These BIS students  are a very intelligent and interested  group of future pilots.

"Come from Away"

DC area 99s members Lucy, Melinda, Sandy, and Laura joined American Airlines Captain Beverly Bass and more than 50 other women pilots at the fantastic play “Come From Away” on Sept.20th at the historic Ford Theatre in Washington DC.  The ISA +21 (International Society of Women Airline Pilots) were in town for an annual meeting.  We toured the Ford Theatre, which included a riveting historical account of President Lincoln's last hours, as recounted by a National Park Service historian. Around 80 women pilots met for a delicious dinner at the Hamilton Restaurant, enjoyed this wonderful play, then got together at the Gordon Biersch Brewery for drinks. Jen Colella, the actress who brilliantly portrays Beverly in the play, and many of her fellow actors joined us.  What a phenomenal evening!  Highly recommend you catch this play in DC before they hit Broadway!
Fresh off sold-out runs in Seattle and San Diego "Come From Away" tells the heart-warming true story of how a small Canadian town cared for 6,579 airline passengers stranded there on 9/11. Featuring a rousing score of folk and rock, "Come From Away" reveals hope and humanity in a time of darkness. “Come From Away” plays at Ford’s Theatre now through mid-October.   It is the true story of when 38 planes and thousands of passengers from around the world were diverted to Gander, a tiny Canadian community in Newfoundland after 9/11 when the US airspace was closed.  People were welcomed off the planes, and people made lifetime friendships, they fell in love there, and their lives changed.  The people in Gander Newfoundland Canada stopped what they were doing for five days and befriended the strangers.

Linda Litwin's birthday

Some of the 99s celebrated Linda Litwin's birthday.  She has completely recovered from her eye injury and is continuing her helicopter flying.  So talented ! 

Debi Dreyfuss is our own Covergirl in the AOPA July 2016 magazine !!!

We are so very proud to announce that the national aviation magazine, AOPA July issue has our own beloved "Moma Bird" as the FEATURED aviatrix on the back cover.  Her long career in aviation was highlighted.  They commended her many volunteer projects.   They noted that she started on a C150 taildragger and has hundreds of PIC hours on the C182 and her new Mirage.  Debi is proudly teaching her grandson, Noah to fly and he expects to solo by his 16th birthday.

CFI Pat Manos

Pat Manos earns her CFI!

She flight instructs at the Washington International Flight Academy, at the Gaithersburg MD Airport.    
Pat has brought along a number of private pilot students that are almost ready to solo.  
We enjoyed their company at Linda Litwin's birthday party.  
One set of students is a mother and daughter pair (future 99s).  Go Pat !

Debi Dreyfuss earns ATP !!! YEAY. Go girl!!

We are so very proud to announce that our own beloved "Moma Bird", earned a ATP rating on June 24, 2016 at American Flyers.  She underwent a rigorous program of instruction.  She easily aced the written and also the actual test flights.  The FAA test examiner commented that she was very prepared and was an excellent pilot.   We are so very proud. 

Air Race Classic 2016

This year's race was the Annual Air Race Classic's 40th and took place from June 21-24, 2016 on a demanding 2,716 mile route involving 13 airports.  It was very exciting to experience changes in terrain, weather, winds and airspace.  Many of the small stops provided light refreshments and hospitality.   The Air Race Classic is an annual all women's air race approximately 2,700 miles in length put together by a large group of volunteers. The competition objective is to fly the "perfect cross country race." Each aircraft is given a "handicap" ground speed. The contestants who beat their personal handicap by the largest margin win. 


Through the years more universities have started participating, and there is now a collegiate division within the race. The theme of the 2016 race was "Collegiate Aviation."  The race course was between the home airports of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, AZ and Daytona Beach, FL).  


Team #20 was: DC3 Air Racing, with three 99s from the Washington DC area:  Debi Dreyfuss, Linda Knowles and Lucy Mencia.  Debi Dreyfuss has flown the Air Race seven times, Linda Knowles has flown the Air Race three times and it was the first time for  Lucy Mencia. There was great comradery and it was a great opportunity to learn about good aviation practices and about the airplane.

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