Alabama man loves to fly -- and it shows
Holds record for most hours as pilotDecember 31, 1998
Web posted at: 3:33 p.m. EST (2033 GMT)
From Correspondent Rick Lockridge
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) -- This century has seen the rise of aviation from the Wright brothers to the space shuttle. And there have been heroes -- Earhart, Lindbergh, Glenn and others.
But there's a pilot in Alabama who's spent more time flying than any of them. And he's still going strong.
Ed Long's office is the cockpit of his small plane, and the view out his office window is the Alabama countryside. It's not a bad job, flying all day at 2,000 feet, checking power lines for an Alabama utility.
Still, it's a little low-profile for a guy who should be one of the most famous pilots in the world, if he weren't so determined not to be.
John Edward "Ed" Long is in the Guinness Book of Records for most flight time by a pilot. He's amassed more than 64,000 hours -- seven years -- in the air.
'He'll fly until he drops dead'
Born just a dozen years after the Wright Brothers' historic flights at Kitty Hawk, Long yearned to fly from early on.
"I went to work for this flying school," he says. "They agreed to give me 30 minutes of flying time for a week's work. No pay, just the flying time. So that's the way I started out."
Never a daredevil himself, Long watched -- and admired --those who pushed the envelope. Amelia Earhart ... Charles Lindbergh ... and John Glenn, another man who wasn't about to let age stop him from doing what he loved.
That's not likely to happen, says Long's wife, Frances.
"He'll fly until he drops dead," she says. "Really, I mean that's his life, his whole life."
"Well, someday they're gonna bury him," Hudgens' laughs, "and then he'll quit."
No time soon, Long says.
"I still enjoy it, yes, sir," he says. "I still look forward to each morning when I get up and go to work. Glad I'm able to go."
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