top of page

Movie Inspires Aviation Career for Local High School Senior

Abigail Minch

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

NW Wings Aviation

In 2022 the movie Top Gun: Maverick was released. During the action packed film, many viewers imagined what it would be like to be in the Navy as a pilot. Jaxson Long, a soon to be graduate at Forest Grove High School in Oregon, was among these viewers. 

However, unlike most, Long actually took these visions of flying and ran with them. Today he is close to earning his Private Pilot License and will attend Baylor University in the fall to major in electrical engineering and computer science. 

These plans will set Long on a course to become an officer in the military. Officers, according to him, have a career of managing the other soldiers and he is looking forward to becoming a leader.

Long says that he has always been interested in mechanics and the idea of being able to use as many modes of transportation as possible. After learning how to drive a car, dirt bike, and a boat, he wanted to be able to check off flying as well. 

“I really wanted to be able to operate anything,” Long said. “I wanted to be able to drive, fly and operate a boat. I already did the other two. I hadn't flown yet.”

He started his pilot career by going to NW Wings Aviation to do the Pilot For A Day Flight. While operating the plane during the flight, Long confirmed he wanted to continue with his aviation ambitions and was soon enrolled in flight training and ground lessons. 

“Seeing the world from a different perspective is awesome,” Long said. “Just being up in the air amazes me every single time I go.”

Long is now working toward achieving his Private Pilot License as a senior in high school graduating in June. He says he didn’t want to wait because he wanted to reach his goal as quickly as possible. Now, he balances sports, homework, working, and a social life with aviation. 

For those wanting to pursue their Private Pilot License, Long says that it's helpful to have a goal to work toward that pushes and motivates past the challenges that may arise.

“In order to be successful, in general, have a goal and pursue that goal and pursue that dream,” Long said.

Jaxson Long is also continuing with his passion for aviation by helping with NW Wings Aviation’s children's summer camp. For more information on the camp reach out to Abigail at 

Thank you to Jaxson for the interview and congratulations on graduating high school! 

8 views0 comments


bottom of page