words (and video, of course) by Anthony Bordignon

Flying high, over the moon, on cloud nine: There’s a reason that many sayings about being in love evoke the feeling of flying. It’s exciting, invigorating and sometimes terrifying. Flying through the sky has always been a dream of mine and when I met the girl of my dreams Katherine, I knew the marriage proposal I wanted to pull off. Millions have seen the video, commented and shared it on social media, but I’m excited to share the story behind how we got there and how I captured the moment.

I met Katherine when she moved across the street from me. We started as neighbors and you could say our relationship skyrocketed from there. We’ve been together for two years, two of the best years of my life, and this February I was determined to start a new chapter with Katherine, as my wife.

I began flying in late 2013. I decided to take up flying lessons because flying through the sky has always been a childhood dream of mine. Maybe it was that famous airplane scene in Pearl Harbor or maybe the thrill of combining the two most nerve racking experiences of life into one moment, but I knew this was how I wanted to ask Katherine to marry me. The “engine failure” airplane trick has been done before, and is found in many different forms all over the internet. Even as an early student pilot my instructors would catch me off guard by abruptly putting the plane into a zero G attitude and expecting me to recover despite being disorientated and scared to death. The thrill is like nothing you can imagine, and I was about to take this feeling to a whole new level.

Every pilot knows that the checklist is essential to ensure all things are in order and the flight will be a success. Just as I do as a pilot, I had my checklist ready for the perfect marriage proposal: pick a date, get the ring, secure an airplane, and get Katherine to the airfield. It’s Feb 24th and just as my checklist is coming together and the proposal is set to take place the next day, I looked up the weather forecast and realized that my plan was about to change. The weather forecast looked horrible and not just for Feb. 25th, the day I planned to propose, but for the next two weeks. I knew in order to pull this proposal off I had to make it happen that day and that day alone. This was my leap of faith. 

The first problem I had to overcome was that the ring wasn't back from the jeweler yet. I had sent the ring in to get resized a few weeks prior and it was supposedly going to be finished that Friday afternoon. The second problem was that Katherine was at work.  Was she able to leave work early to meet me at the airport?  I didn't know. Lastly, I had to see if I could rent a plane. I had no hope if a plane wasn’t available.

The first thing I did that morning was head to the jewelry store to see if the ring was ready. It was not. I told them the circumstances and they assured me that it would be arriving at the store any moment. So while I waited for the ring to arrive, I worked on ironing out the other details. I phoned Katherine from the food court.
    “Hey Hun, you know that flight I was going to take you on tomorrow?  Well, the weather isn't looking that good and I really want to take you up in this new plane I learned how to fly. Is there any way you can get off work early today and meet me at Pitt Meadows Airport around 3pm?”
    Katherine replied saying, “Let me check and I will send you a text. Hold on.” I remember biting my nails and my legs shaking as I was waiting for a response. She had replied yes. It was a go. 

All I had to do now was reserve a plane and I would be out of the woods.  After getting confirmation that a plane was available and that my ring was ready I remember thinking, “How I this happening? This is actually going to work.” I rushed home to scramble all my GoPro gear together. Memory Cards? Check. Mounts?  Check. Battery life? Check.  I was off to the airport with my bags packed and my fingers crossed. This was the moment of a lifetime and I was determined to not miss any part of it. I mounted my GoPro HERO5 Black with a suction cup to the windshield to get the perfect shot of her reaction.  I also used a HERO3 Black Edition attached to the ceiling of the plane using an adhesive mount to be sure I captured the audio of her reaction and hopefully her saying “yes”. The audio port of the HERO3 is super versatile and was able to connect with the aircraft’s headsets. With my checklist complete, the moment had arrived. Wheels Up!

If you haven’t seen the video, I hate to ruin the ending but… she said yes, and on Saturday, June 17th Katherine and I got married near the beach in Vancouver. And of course, we documented the entire day. We had one of our GoPros set up at the main entrance on a tripod, and instead of each guest coming in and writing in a guestbook, we decided that it would be much more fun and exciting if everyone took a few seconds to say something on the camera. From our proposal, to our wedding, and now our life together, Katherine and I look forward to capturing the many cool experiences in our lives and thank everyone over at GoPro for making that possible.