Sunday morning was no ordinary day for one local couple as pilot Mike Smasal flew them over Sedalia at 1,000 feet. It was the day their dreams would take wing.
Dusty McCubbins, of Cole Camp, and Brianna Studt, of Sedalia, have been dating for five years. According to family members, Studt had been waiting for him to pop the question for some time. It was when McCubbins won a flight with Smasal during a benefit raffle that he decided his proposal would come with wings attached. It would be a surprise and be unexpected.
Before the couple arrived at the Sedalia Regional Airport Sunday morning, Smasal said he’d offered the flight as part of a fundraiser.
“The Lutheran School (in Cole Camp) was having a benefit auction,” Smasal said. “Some of the ladies from the school approached me about an airplane ride to raffle off. So, this gentleman bought the ticket. Then, I think it was her dad who contacted me about doing the proposal in the air.”
“I bought the ticket and the idea just kind of came to me,” McCubbins said after the flight.
He decided to have a sign made that would pop the question and Charlie Braden, owner of Braden Signs, of Sedalia, helped him with the project.
“(Brianna’s) little sister works for Charlie Braden,” McCubbins added.
The sign was laid on the ground at Studt’s grandfather, Gary Craig’s, field at East 32nd Street and South Washington Avenue. With large, bright yellow letters it would be difficult for Studt to miss as they flew over the property.
Smasal said he went by the property Saturday to check out the angle of the sign and to see which way he should fly through Sunday morning.
He added that he was going to give the couple a 30 to 40 minute flight, even taking them over Truman Dam in Warsaw.
Once they arrived at the airport and boarded the four-passenger Mooney, McCubbins asked if they could fly over Cole Camp and his grandparents’ farm at U.S. Highway 65 and state Route 52. Lastly, he asked if it would be possible for Smasal to fly over Studt’s grandfather’s property in Sedalia as they came back into town.
After taking a scenic flight at 3,500 feet over Cole Camp, Truman Lake and Lincoln, Smasal headed back toward Sedalia
When flying back into town, and as he brought the plane down in altitude, he asked Studt to help him look for the property.
When she saw the bright yellow letters of “MARRY ME?” on the ground she put her hand over her mouth and tears welled up in her eyes. McCubbins pulled out a ring box, showed her the ring, and placed it on her finger.
“I guess that’s a yes?” Smasal said through the headset.
“Yes!” Studt replied.
During the flight, Studt didn’t suspect the proposal, but she knew something was up because McCubbins had dressed up for the flight.
“I knew he was going to be nervous, because he’s never flown before,” she said. “But he dressed up. I knew it was Sunday, but I knew we weren’t going to church,” she said smiling.
When asked about their future plans, McCubbins said with a smile, “We will see where life will take us I guess.”
After the couple landed, 15 to 20 family members arrived at the airport to greet them.
Studt owns her own business, QuickE Breeze, and she is the daughter of Michael and Jenny Studt, of Sedalia. McCubbins is employed as a machinist at Starline Brass in Sedalia and is the son of Tim and Jody McCubbins, of Cole Camp.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.