Spring is finally here and hopefully I will get some more flying in. This blog has been pretty empty because of the bad winter weather we had here in Northern New Jersey. On top of the bad weather I have had too many busy weekends that also took away from available flying time. This past March I was fortunate enough to squeeze in a quick flight that deserves a blog post. On the surface, a 20min flight beginning and ending at my home airport would be a non event. However on this flight I managed to propose to my girlfriend.
I spent 3 hours the previous night making huge 7ft letters out of poster board and duct tape. The plan was to have my buddies lay out the letters on a baseball field in my hometown. I picked the field because it is near a huge cemetery and easy to spot from the air. I would then just fly over it, girlfriend would read it, and voila proposal complete.
The wind however disagreed with this simple plan. After waking up that morning and checking the METARs/TAFs I was contemplating calling it off. While the wind was mostly down the runway it was gusting a lot and was going to make it pretty bumpy up there. It was still within my personal limits so I decided to not scrub the flight and check once again after driving to the airport. I received the ‘all clear’ text message from my ground crew that the sign was setup and ready to go.
After hopping in the plane we lined up and took off. It was gusting quite a bit and I immediately realized this might make today more interesting than I had planned. The baseball field is only about a 10min flight from my home airport. As I approached the field and told my girlfriend to look I noticed that there was quite a problem on the ground. Apparently just minutes before I flew overhead the wind completely blew all of the letters all over the field. The guys were scrambling around to try and fix everything. Instead of it saying ‘Marry me, Anca?’ it just looked like the local fire department was practicing some sort of disaster exercise with red stretchers.
I started laughing and basically had to make her guess what it ‘might’ have said. After a few seconds she figured it out and started cracking up too. The whole time she just thought this was a typical $100 hamburger flight. After all of the laughing and crying was over I was able to get an audible ‘Yes’ out of her. After circling around a few times the guys managed to fix some letters but wind picked up even more and I decided flight needed to come to an end. I made a decent landing back at MMU runway 23 and the rest is history.