Crews taking skills high into sky


Molly Archer, Staff Writer

Oxford High School senior Battle Crews takes his talents to new heights this year. He has been working to acquire his pilot license at Air Venture Flight School in Olive Branch, Mississippi.  After he earns his license, Battle hopes to join the University of Mississippi’s Air Force ROTC program.

“For college I want to do Air Force ROTC, and getting your license prior to going into the Air Force helps with getting selected to fly,” Battle said.

He began attending flight classes in July of this past summer. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a person would need to earn a minimum of 40 hours of flight time to receive a private pilot’s license. So far, Battle has earned around 25 hours.

Battle decided that he wanted to be a pilot at a very young age, although he originally wanted to fly for the Navy rather than the Air Force.

“At first he wanted to fly for the Navy,” Claire Crews, Battle’s mother, said. “A couple of years ago, Battle decided he wanted to fly for the United States Air Force.”

His flight instructor Marc Berry, who has taught him since he started classes at Air Venture, stated that Battle has improved a lot since starting classes at the flight center.

“Battle stood out to me based on his ability to perform all the maneuvers perfectly after only one or two tries,” Berry said. “I can tell he studies a great deal and is always trying to improve.”

All of the hard work Battle has put into becoming a pilot is about to pay off in the next few months. He will begin flying solo in the next few weeks

“For every hour of flight you have about three to four hours of work to do at home online,” Battle said. “Every few lessons you sit down with your instructor and go over everything you have learned in the past few weeks.”

The soon-to-be pilot’s success so far has not gone unnoticed. Berry mentioned that Crews has progressed faster than any other student he has taught in the past. Battle’s mother is pleased as well with what her son has learned over the past months.

“I am very happy with the training he is receiving at Air Venture Flight Center,” Claire said. “I am amazed at the knowledge and skills Battle has gained so far.”

As Crews gets closer to achieving his goal, he gains more confidence as a pilot. He will begin working on his solo flights in the near future, according to Berry.

“It definitely solidified what I had been thinking. I had never really been sure if I could do it, but now that I’m almost to the halfway point, I see that I think I can, which makes me want to do it more,” Crews said.