US balloon pilot sees increase in sky-high engagements

Scott Lorenz, a balloon pilot who arranges numerous flights around the Novi and metro Detroit areas, has noticed a significant increase in the number of couples becoming engaged on flights since he started to organise them over 30 years ago.

Last September, for example, Jack Wilson of Plymouth took his now-wife, Jackie Madgy, on her first balloon ride, where he proposed. According to Lorenz, most men know exactly what they have in mind and a clear picture in their head of the way they want the event to pan out. Unfortunately, sometimes these ideas are not always practical, meaning that quite often, a balloonist must step in and help with the planning.

A sensible place to take off and land must be decided upon, and the proposer must have a good deal of patience. As hot air balloons can only fly in acceptable standards of weather, having flexibility with flight days is a must for the occasion.

However, Lorenz makes sure that he places engagements as his top priority. Most of the time, this means nervous passengers will only be waiting for a maximum of three days to pop the question.

Lorenz, like many other pilots, is able to fit three people into the balloon – himself and two passengers, with hour-long flights occurring either two and a half hours before sunset, or alternatively at sunrise. Only water is served on board, but champagne is available upon landing, to drink with the landowners – originally a French tradition that dates back to 1783.

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