Mayday, mayday. Will you marry me?
A Chicago pilot had a unique wedding proposal this week when he popped the question to his girlfriend after convincing her mid-flight that the private plane he was flying was malfunctioning. In a video from the cockpit posted on YouTube Tuesday, Ryan Thompson asks his girlfriend, Carlie Kennedy, to read a specially made emergency checklist that ends with a wedding proposal. She excitedly accepts the ring from him after initially thinking the plane could possibly crash.
The happy couple spoke with Natalie Morales by phone from Chicago on TODAY Friday — now that they are safely back on the ground.
“I have to tell you, when the plane headed for water, I genuinely did believe it was a true emergency,’’ Kennedy said. “I thought in reading through the emergency procedure checklist that our lives were in my hands at that moment. ...Getting to the end of the emergency procedure checklist, then the proposal, it was a swing of emotions like I’ve never experienced before. I’ve never been that happy.’’
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While Thompson thought his proposal stunt was a great idea, he admitted that his plan to scare Kennedy before reeling her back in with an engagement ring wasn’t universally liked when he planned it.
“I definitely was advised not to do it by a handful of friends and family, but I had faith in my girl," Thompson said. "She’s got her stuff together, and I knew she would stay calm and do a good job with the checklist and everything.’’
In the YouTube video, titled “In Descent Proposal,’’ the couple is enjoying a leisurely flight before Thompson says, “Honey, I need you to stay calm. The flight controls aren’t responding. I’m going to need you to read through this emergency procedure.’’
A visibly nervous Kennedy sits bolt upright and reads the red checklist card before reaching the final instruction.
“The checklist is complete, and it says the rings may be unengaged and to initiate the ring engagement procedure,’’ she reads.
At that moment, Thompson popped the question to Kennedy’s relief and excitement. While it would have been easy to be a little angry for having been put through that situation, Kennedy was more caught up in the euphoria.
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“Everyone has asked me that question and to be honest, I was never mad,’’ she said. “I think it’s just because I was so excited about what was happening. After the plane, my family was there and then all our friends. I never had time to sit and think about being mad, but I wasn’t. I was too excited.’’
Thompson had contemplated another surprise for his fiancée, but his future mother-in-law put the kibosh on that.
“I wanted to plan a surprise wedding for her because she’s so busy as a surgery resident now that she doesn’t have the time to do any planning,’’ Thompson said. “I talked to her mom about the surprise wedding, and she put the stop on that one pretty quick. I think I’m surprised-out.’’
“(Being a surgical resident) is exactly why I was able to keep my cool when I thought we were dying, but I will plan something (to get him back),’’ Kennedy said.
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