Saying 'Yes' at 39,000 feet


It was a pretty noneventful flight up until the captain of U.S. Airways flight 700 from Philadelphia to Frankfurt came onto the PA. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. I have a good friend up here in the cockpit who has hitched a ride with us over to Germany. He has something to say to his lady friend, who is in the back of the plane.’ Soon, another voice came on, saying: ‘I have to walk back to ask this lady a question, and I sure hope the answer is yes. I’d appreciate your support.’ Soon a beefy guy in a captain’s uniform comes back through business class, small black box in his hand. I hopped out of seat 2G and grabbed my new Nikon digital camera. If there was going to be an engagement at 39,000 feet, then I wanted to capture it for posterity. The flight attendant was delighted, ‘Oh, you’re a professional! I only have this cheap little camera and I am nervous about getting a good photo.’ Using my experience gained as a photojournalist for the ‘Stars and Stripes’ I wormed my way back to the place where all the action was and snapped 18 images to document the moment the future Mrs. McNeil said ‘Yes.’

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