Senior jumpstarts future in flight


Saffron Hewitt-Qualls

Saffron Hewitt-Qualls in flight in a Cessna 172.

Jacob Ward, Features Editor

Since age 14, Saffron Hewitt-Qualls has been practicing to become a pilot, both for fun and training for her future. Not only is it an uncommon hobby at this age, it is especially unique to have started so young.

According to, the average training age is 30 years old.

“Flying, especially for me, is interesting because of the different functions that it has, from search and rescue to commercial carriers,” said Saffron. “Flying is also very enjoyable and gives you the freedom to maneuver throughout the sky.”

Saffron has already earned her private piloting license, but she still practices often in order to pursue her passion. Over the summer, she was able to fly every day at Epix Aviation in Chesapeake and is on scholarship with the Civil Air Patrol.

“Now that I have my license, I am training to become a transport pilot for the Civil Air Patrol,” said Saffron.

She earned her private license as a part of her senior project and made a website that details her flight training which is

“Saffron’s passion to become a pilot is reflected through everything she does. Saffron is always competitive on the field, court, and classroom,” said senior Jaedyn Williams.

Not only has she been advancing her passion throughout high school, but she has also played field hockey, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse for Ocean Lakes.

“Flying allows you to be a part of a great community and offers unique opportunities that no other hobbies do,” said Saffron.