BLUE SKIES N2876L
1978 – 2010
Jason is remembered by those who knew and loved him for his kind, loyal, and generous nature. He derived great joy from being able to help others. Friends and family can recount many times that they were the beneficiaries of his graciousness and compassion. Jason was known for his infectious grin, mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and spontaneous sense of humor. Though modest about his accomplishments, he was a free soul who lived life to the fullest and chased his dreams until they became a reality.
Jason, a third generation pilot, was an experienced aviator with over 2,200 hours of logged flight time. He held licenses in the United States and Canada for Commercial Airplane Multi-Engine Land (AMEL), Airplane Single Engine Land (ASEL), and Instrument Rating. In addition, he was a licensed Professional Flight Instructor for ASEL, AMEL, and Instrument Rating. Jason’s career objective was to advance his career in aviation by continuing to build on his experiences as a pilot, mechanic, and flight instructor so that he could continue to provide a professional service and a high level of safety. As a pilot, Jason participated in flight operations in the United States, Canada, and the Arctic Regions. Other flight experience included assignments in South America, Australia, Russia, Japan, Guam, Okinawa, and a transpacific ferry operation. While home on the family farm, Jason would fly a Cessna Skyhawk from the Long’s grass airstrip (AKA the “Long’s International Airport”) through the scenic Shenandoah Valley, VA. He also served as an FAA Aviation Safety Representative for the Washington Flight Standards District Office.
At the time of his death, Jason was working on the restoration of a 1946 Aeronca Champ airplane, and he was in the process of completing his FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanical Certification, having completed his apprenticeship.
Jason attended James Madison University (JMU) and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. During his college years and beyond, he continued his running career, earning numerous accomplishments. The highlights of his JMU athletic career include five-time NCAA All-American honors and five-time All-East honors. In 2000 he was an Olympic Trials Qualifier/Competitor in the 800m. The highlight of his post-JMU professional career was his Sub-4 minute mile of 3:59:99, making him the 256th man (since 1957) in the United States to receive this elite honor. In 2010, Long was named as a top collegiate athlete to the All Colonial Athletic Association’s Silver (25th) Anniversary Track Team.
In addition to his passion for aviation and running, Jason was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, hiking, mountain/road biking, climbing, canoeing, and floating on the Shenandoah River. Though his pursuit of these interests took him all over the world, it was his love of family and devotion to the family farm that always brought him home.
Jason Allen Long, age 32, of Edinburg, VA, died Friday, December 31, 2010, in a tragic airplane crash in Weyers Cave, VA. Jason is survived by his parents, Jim and Laura Long; the love of his life, Alesia Hovatter; sister, Sara Long and her fiancée Daniel Anderson; and grandmother, Nellie Long. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Marion and Jane Swartz; and grandfather, Homer Long, Jr. “DOC” Long, you will be in our hearts and minds forever. Blue Skies and Tail Winds N2876L.