Pilot Called ‘Full of Life’

Jon Dollard is presumed dead after the plane he was flying crashed into the water off Amagansett on Saturday. Jenn Gaudreau of Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Jon Kenneth Dollard Jr.’s family and friends remembered him this week as a cautious pilot who loved working for Ben Krupinski. 

A commercial pilot since 2012, the 47-year-old had worked for Mr. Krupinski for approximately six years, his family said. His body is one of the two missing since a Saturday plane crash in the ocean, they said. 

“I get this very uneasy feeling that they haven’t found him. You don’t like him out there alone,” his father, Ken Dollard of Shoreham, said by phone on Tuesday. 

“If you knew him, he was really full of life. I can tell you this,” his father said. “Everybody I knew he knew; everybody held him in the highest regard.” 

A friend, Eric Lemonides, who said he got his pilot’s license around the same time as Mr. Dollard, called him “super cautious.” The two had flown together, and Mr. Dollard had been Mr. Lemonides’s safety pilot on many occasions. 

“He made me afraid of weather,” Mr. Lemonides said Tuesday, relating how Mr. Dollard had always said, “It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground.”

Many people on the South Fork knew Mr. Dollard, whether through flying or from his days bartending and waiting tables at World Pie in Bridgehampton, where he had stopped in just days before the accident to say hello to the regulars. 

A Shoreham native, he graduated from Shoreham-Wading River High School in 1990. He attended Salisbury State University in Maryland, where he earned a degree in political science. He went on to work in restaurants, his father said, including Oakland’s in Hampton Bays.

“He wanted to go flying,” said Mr. Dollard, a retired air traffic controller. “We talked it over, and the way he learned best was with a structured program, so he went to a flying school in Florida” for a year, before returning to Long Island. 

He worked for a time at Brookhaven Calabro Airport as a flight instructor and then applied for the position with Mr. Krupinski about six years ago, his father recalled. “He liked the people. He liked Ben a lot,” he said. 

He flew often to Philadelphia, Boston, and Newport, R.I., his father said. “He was good at it, too.” 

His younger brother, Christopher Dollard, a former Navy pilot, remembered him as generous, funny, and “an overall good guy.” 

“He didn’t make a ton of money, but he tipped well — he was the best tipper around,” he said. 

In addition to his father and brother, his wife, Ana Sanchez Dollard, who was said to be too upset to talk, and his mother, Jean Dollard, survive him. Two other brothers, Todd Dollard of Syracuse and Jason Dollard of Alaska, as well as nieces and nephews, also survive.