Proposal at 8000 feet
Proposing to someone has never been easy,
especially when you only give yourself eight seconds to do it.
Flight Sergeant Shaunn Segon’s recent proposal to his
girlfriend in mid-air went down like a parachute – but that
was how he planned it. Competing at the ADF Parachuting Titles at
Wagga, FSGT Segon proposed to his girlfriend, Flight Lieutenant
Tonia Lucas, on the last day of competition. An AMTDU loadmaster at
RAAF Base Richmond, FSGT Segon has completed more than 2300 jumps
and wanted to do something different.
“I really wanted to surprise her but was quite worried as
it was the last day of competition – the aircraft could have
broken down or bad weather could have cancelled the flight,”
he said. FLTLT Lucas was going to Wagga by train the night before,
but delayed timetables and bushfires threatened to derail the
surprise proposal. At 4.30 on the Friday morning the train
eventually arrived in Wagga with the couple scheduled to board the
Caribou at 6.30am.
FLTLT Lucas, a medical officer at RAAF Base Glenbrook, had only
jumped once before. The couple jumped at 10,000 feet and at 8000
feet, still in free fall, FSGT Segon showed her his handmade sign
featuring the words “will you marry me!”
With frantic nodding and the double thumbs up, FLTLT Lucas said
yes. “It was unbelievable – I saw him jump out and come
toward me and thought ‘what has he got in his
hands?’When I saw it, all I wanted to do was get to the
ground and talk to him – we had not even discussed it,”
After landing, FSGT Segon dropped to one knee and
proposed again, this time with the engagement ring. “... but
my legs were still like jelly and I could hardly stand,”
FLTLT Lucas said.
A veteran of 14 consecutive ADF Parachuting Titles, FSGT Segon
had to spend most of the day in the air and not with his new
fiancee. “I just wandered around in a daze all day showing
off the ring,” FLTLT Lucas said.
FSGT Segon finished the competition with strong placings –
second in the Canopy Relative Work team event involving canopy
rotations, and sixth in the Swoop Accuracy category which requires
landing on a frisbee. The couple, who met two years ago in
Queensland on Op Abseil, plan to marry in 2004. [ANN Thanks the
RAAF's Shane Fairlie, PTE Matt Hawkins and CPL Pete Gammie].