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ICON A5 Visits Bessie Weller Elementary School

On October 21st, Bessie Weller Elementary had a different sort of instructor teaching science that day – an airplane.

An ICON A5 amphibian aircraft was brought to the school by the Virginia Department of Aviation’s (DOAV) Introduction to Flight team. Their goal is broad and simple: to educate and inspire a new generation of Virginians into the aviation industry and to give other students their first experience in an airplane.

On that Wednesday, about 60 fifth graders were given an introduction to the forces of flight by DOAV educators. Afterwards, they were given an opportunity to sit in the cockpit, wield the controls, and even flip some switches. 

“The first question we usually get is if it can fly”, said Tony Sotelo,

a member of the Introduction to Flight Team. “It is no longer flightworthy, but we send every student home with a flyable balsa model airplane to remember our visit”, he added.

Jakob Charles, a fifth grade teacher at Bessie Weller Elementary School noticed an effect almost immediately: “The kids spent the rest of the day talking about how much fun it was and at recess they continued to use their model airplanes and discuss things that they noticed, such as how it would fly better with more wind speed”.

The Icon A5 Introduction to Flight Program is a free educational resource for Virginia residents. Typical events are schools, airshows, job fairs, and other public functions. For more information regarding this program, please visit, or contact Betty Wilson.