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Love is in the air: man proposes at 1,000ft

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Love was quite literally in the air when one man decided to pop the question to his girlfriend while flying 1,000 feet above the Island.

Andrew McCormick had been planning to surprise his Bermudian girlfriend Katie Dunmore with an aerial marriage proposal since the summer when he read an article about the new Blue Sky Flights' Cessna tour service.

He enlisted the help of her friends and family through a WhatsApp group chat code-named Operation Beyonce, a reference to the singer's hit song Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).

They had their own role in the proposal, on Saturday, from the ground at Warwick Long Bay — laying out gigantic strips of tarpaulin on the beach to spell out the words “Will you marry me?” and then standing in line to make up the question mark.

Mr McCormick told the pilot, Lester, to signal a “yes” answer to those on the ground by flashing his landing lights.

He told The Royal Gazette: “I got the permission from her parents on Tuesday, and I went on Thursday night with 40 strips of 20ft long tarpaulin.

“I designed the ring and it was made here in Bermuda by Swiss Timing. Then I got a Bermuda cedar ring box made by Alan Murray.

“I didn't give anything away. To get her out of going to work I told her I had won the tickets for the flight at my company [Marsh] Christmas party and they needed to be used.

“I told her to dress nicely by saying we would have photographs for the Marsh catalogue.

“Her dad asked me what happens if she says no and I told him I would just jump out of the plane and that would be it!”

Ms Dunmore said: “But I never would have said no.”

Recalling the event, Ms Dunmore said: “It was funny because as we were driving to the airport on Saturday we saw my parents driving the other way. I really didn't think anything of it.

“During the flight the pilot pointed out where we live which is close to the house I grew up in as a child on Trimingham Hill.

“It was spectacular weather — so clear and still. The whole time all I could think about was how small Bermuda looks from the air. We headed off around the beaches when the pilot said, ‘Oh, what's going on over there, are they building a sandcastle?'

“I looked and saw the writing but didn't register — I wasn't expecting it. Then Andrew turned to me with the ring box and said, ‘Will you marry me?'

“I was crying and kind of hyperventilating — it was perfect. It was amazing — like a movie.

“The question mark was made out of friends and family — and my youngest niece was the dot.

“It is special because as a proposal it was intimate between him and I but the friends and family who were on the beach have been there since the get-go of me and Andrew's relationship, so it meant as much to me having them be a part of it as well.”

Once she managed to compose herself, they landed and enjoyed a toast with the pilot as well as Heather Nichols, a Blue Sky Flights pilot who had helped Mr McCormick to set up the surprise.

They then made there way to Warwick Long Bay where they were greeted by their loved ones.

The couple are planning a September wedding next year in Bermuda.

Love letters: Andrew McCormick had Katie's Dunmore's friends and family spelled out “Will you marry me?” on Warwick Long Bay as they passed overhead on an aerial tour of Island (Photograph supplied)
Dream proposal: Katie Dunmore was thrilled by Andrew McCormick's romantic way of popping the question (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Custom designed: the ring Andrew McCormick had made for Katie Dunmore (Photograph supplied)
Getting ready: the couple's friends and family spell out 'Will you marry me?' on Warwick Long Bay in preparation for them flying overhead (Photograph supplied)

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Published December 17, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 17, 2015 at 8:11 am)

Love is in the air: man proposes at 1,000ft

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