The world-class flight instructors and staff at High Flight Academy are eager to schedule your first lesson, help you develop your skills as a professional pilot, or anywhere in between.

Christopher Hayden

Operations Manager

With more than three decades of experience teaching people to fly, Chris enthusiastically leads our team in the air and on the ground. Chris is a Mars Area High School alumni who later earned his Associates Degree in Applied Science at Beaver County Community College and then continued his education at LaRoche College. Since 1982, Chris has been employed in the aviation industry in all aspects of operation working from the ground level up. Most recently, he’s been at the helm of a Citation V Ultra. Having earned his Certified Flight Instructor rating in 1986, Chris has more than 5,000 hours of instruction time and believes every hour was rewarding in its own way. Chris is the youngest of three brothers who all are aviation professionals. When he’s not flying, Chris is passionate about cars. Muscle cars, classics, hobby projects … Chris’s enthusiasm for all things on wheels nearly rivals his love of sharing the experience of flight with others.

“I truly enjoy the interesting people you meet, the places you can travel … being a pilot, to me, means freedom,” Chris said. “My desk is always in the air.”

  • CFIIAM
  • ATP
  • Type-rated CE 500 Series

Diana Wulff

Office Manager

Along with a vast knowledge of organizational and office managing skills from prior experience working at a Fortune 500 company, Diana also strives to give back to her community through community service and advocacy. Specifically she’s active with Fishbone Ministries, an anti-drug organization based in Butler, the American Communication Association and the Giving Tree.

Diana also is founder of “Thee Wine Club,” which has raised thousands for local charities.

Diana, who has held a private pilots license since 2010, is excited about expanding her knowledge and love for the sport. She lives in nearby Center Township.

Reach Diana at frontdesk@highflightacademy.com.

  • Private Pilot

Jim Harjer
Andy Allen
Roy Uptegraff

Advisory Board

Jim took his first flying lesson in 1959 and continues to fly today. He worked as a pilot for PSA/USAir for 33-plus years. Then, he continued to work as a contract pilot instructing in Airbus 320/330 and ERJ 170/190.

Andy Allen, who grew up on the bicentennial seventh-generation Armstrong Farms in Saxonburg, earned his bachelor’s degree in Aeronautic Technology from Purdue University. While there, he interned at Kennedy Space Center, specifically studying human factors in shuttle maintenance.

Roy is a retired Brigadier General and former commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing at Pittsburgh International Airport. A rated command pilot with more than 5600 military hours, he served in numerous operations from Desert Storm in 1991 to Operation Unified Protector that enforced the no-fly zone over Libya in 2011. A graduate of Lehigh University, he currently owns and flies an airplane based at Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport.


ASHLEY LAVFEVER

Front Desk Receptionist

Whether spending time with family & friends, or out exploring new places, Ashley is always ready for any adventures that come her way. In between semesters at Point Park University, Ashley would spend any free time she had working at the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Disney World.

After graduating with degrees in Broadcasting & Theater, Ashley began searching for jobs in different film projects that came to the Pittsburgh area. While she loves the excitement of being on film sets and on stage, she absolutely loves using her down time to travel and see old Disney friends.

One winter during a hiatus on filming, she began an ancestry search on her family tree, and she once again quickly began racking up those travel miles by flying to all the different countries where her family roots originated, always picking up a souvenir along the way.

Whether on location for a project, traveling with good friends, or sitting on the couch researching family history, Ashley absolutely loves the crazy unconventional chaos that comes with her very spontaneous work. While she doesn’t always know what the next step will be, she’s loving the adventure.


CARRIE MATVEY

Flight Instructor

With a lifelong passion of flying, Carrie began her flight training in 1998.  She obtained her Private Pilot certificate in 1999. Taking a break from flying to raise her two boys, Carrie returned to complete her dream of having a career in aviation in 2015. She is excited to join High Flight as a Flight Instructor with her goal realized!