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Love at 3,000ft: Is this Salford’s most ambitious ever wedding proposal?

A lovestruck would-be groom proposed to his fiancee while she flew high over Salford this week.

Jamie Dell, 32, proposed to his fiancee Sally Richmond, 38, with a huge ground display at City Airport Barton on Sunday 11 September.

The words read: ‘Sally, will you marry me? xxx’

While Sally took to the skies Jamie waited nervously on the ground.


He’d booked a trial flying lesson for her in a EuroStar light aircraft with the Main Air flying school, at City Airport Barton in Salford.

When Sally came in to land she spotted the sign and was overjoyed, giving Jamie the ‘yes’ response over the radio.

After landing, Jamie formalised the proposal on one knee at the aircraft.


Jamie, who met Sally on a night out four and a half years ago, explained: “It all started at Christmas, we were giving each other ‘experience’ presents and trying to outdo one another.

Sally bought me indoor skydiving so I thought ‘I’ll go one better and get her a flying lesson’.

“The idea for the proposal didn’t come straight away but as the months went on and I got to know her better and I just went for it.

Jamie, who lives in Oldham, enlisted the support of his mates from Rochdale Catholic Cricket Club to help put the huge sign together.

He’d Googled it and found the best way was to use strips of lining paper to spell out the proposal.

“I thought wallpaper might be the best way but that was up to £10 a roll.

“So bought 23 or 24 rolls of lining paper from Screwfix and over the course of an hour and a half me and my mates laid them out and stuck them together.


“We were due to be at City Airport at 10am on Sunday – it was a hectic day trying to get the kids ready and the you’re never sure about the traffic on the M60 so I was worried we might not even make it in time.”

Keeping the surprise under wraps was one of the hardest parts, says Jamie.

“When we got there, Main Air Barton just treated it as a normal experience – my mates were hiding behind the hanger waiting for her to get in the plane.

“The airport manager Nick [Duriez] was on his walkie talkie keeping in touch with the control tower waiting for the flypast.

“I was getting more and more nervous, first it was 20 minutes away, then five minutes away, and finally she saw it and just said ‘yes’ down the radio.

“It was so emotional.”


Since the proposal went viral Jamie’s been having calls from regional papers and even national magazines keen to hear the story.

“The response has been unbelieveable.

“It’s just been so crazy and getting bigger and bigger.”

So much so that he and Sally haven’t even had a minute spare to talk about when the wedding might be.

Posting on Facebook, managers at the aerodrome said: “All the team at City Airport, Runway 26 and Mainair Flying School would like to wish the happy couple all the best!”

Pictures courtesy City Airport Barton

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.