Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Elgen M. Long

In Memoriam

August 12, 1987 - January 26, 2022

We are sorry to report the news that FTLPA member and former FTL Captain Elgen Long has Flown West, passing away at his home in Reno on January 26th at the age of 94.  He was our Association's most senior flight crewmember.  Elgen hired onto Flying Tigers in the early days as a radio operator in 1948.  He then studied hard to become a navigator in 1950, then paid for all of his ratings to qualify as a pilot in 1952.  He was a skilled pilot, intense researcher, author and above all a Humanitarian long before it was popular to be so.  Often kiddingly referred to as our own Legend Long, he earned every bit of his nickname - and ten times more.  An official website for him exists at and is well worth the visit to learn about a truly amazing man for his time.

Elgen leaves behind his wife, Kaye.  Condolences can be mailed to the Long family at:

9900 Wilbur May Pkwy #1602
Reno, NV 89521-4000

Below are some testimonials from those who knew him well.

Elgen was a gentleman and a superb pilot. Dick Rossi and he were good friends for probably 50 years as they both flew as Captains for FTL. I remember him as tall, stately, friendly, and a good conversationalist. And handsome. Rest in Peace our friend. 

Lydia Rossi
Most FTL pilots know about Elgen's famous Crossroads Flight, but he had another major accomplishment that some may not remember.  

In 1968/69 Tigers began phasing out the CL-44's to be replaced with the DC-8-63's.  Most of the 44's were sold to Trans Meridian Airlines, an airline based in London, as a package deal.  The deal was contingent on getting their crews qualified by Flying Tiger instructors A.S.A.P.  There was a time limit involved but I can't recall what it was. 

Elgin was chosen by the company to be chief pilot of a group of FTL instructor pilots chosen to get TMA's pilots and flight engineers all qualified in the CL-44's in the allotted time.  This was a huge task with lots of pressure, but Elgen and his team got the job done and the sale was completed. Tigers likely needed every penny of this money to help get financing for the DC-8's, so the success of this operation was critical to the company's future.  

Captain Larry LeFever


Elgin Long was a regular crew member at Heathrow when I was a station agent there in the late 50s. In the last 15 years we had lunch together at our weekly aviation club here in Reno. He was a kind man and always so polite.

In the late 50s and early 60s, I handled many Tigers flights all over Europe, N Africa, the Middle East,The US and Japan and rode the jump seat on L1049s many times. Sadly never with Elgen.
Rest in Peace, my good friend.
John Townes

Anyone else wishing to contribute to this page with archived pictures or testimonials is encouraged to contact us at

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