A Piper Proposal

One Friday morning, Brennan Parrish and his girlfriend, Ann Elizabeth, flew out of Savannah-Hardin County Airport in Savannah, Tennessee, in a 1967 Piper Cherokee Six. What looked like a quick loop in the pattern suddenly turned into a diversion to a nearby pasture. Painted in all caps were the words, "Marry me." The 15-foot-high by 80-foot-wide letters left his passenger completely surprised, but she said yes.

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But what makes their story unique is the history of their Cherokee Six and the role the Piper played in the proposal. Parrish, a Flying reader who earned his private pilot's license in 2011, shares how aviation was an important part of their relationship.

A lot of funny things took place the morning I proposed, including realizing I had forgotten the ring when I got to the airport! Thankfully my mom was so kind to sneak up to the airport while Ann Elizabeth ran to town. Additionally, the forecast for that morning was 1,500 feet overcast, but overnight it suddenly changed to clear below 12,000 feet and unrestricted visibility. I guess it just shows that even Mother Nature wanted us to get engaged.

Our Cherokee Six N5579J "Juliet" has been in our family since 1969. My grandfather logged over 4,000 private pilot hours in Juliet, the majority with his wife and children. Yes, my grandfather would stack his entire family in Juliet and fly everywhere. Juliet has been to Jamaica, Nassau, and nearly half the United States. That's the major reason I learned to fly and also why I proposed in Juliet. It just felt like one more memory needed to be made.

Ann Elizabeth and I have been privileged to have aviation in our long-distance relationship. Flying from Savannah, Tennessee, to Humboldt, Tennessee, cut a two-hour drive to a 20-minute flight. Flying gave us more time to spend together and it was just so much darn fun. Together we've flown around 100 hours in Juliet and another 100 hours in a Cessna 150 that I had bought into before I earned my high-performance endorsement. I even flew Juliet up to meet her father and obtain his blessing. —****Brennan Parrish




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