Love is in the air

The folks at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in South Carolina know a thing or two about young love. That’s why they were all so accommodating when Courtney Blackwell asked airport authorities if she could surprise her fiancee, John Harmon, by taking their engagement photos at the airport.

You see, John is crazy about aviation.

The two met while working in the same office in Greenville, but they lived in different cities — Courtney in Westminster and John in Chesnee. Each city is about an hour from Greenville — in opposite directions.

So while dating, the pair would meet after work at the Greenville Downtown Airport’s observation area where they would watch the aircraft and have dinner.

Courtney and John in Mint Air's LSA. Photo by Monica Parkkonen

John has been a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) for four years, even though he has never flown in a general aviation airplane! He has loved aviation since he was a little boy and his aunt used to take him to the local commercial airport, Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), before security made it impossible to see aviation in action. He would sit on her shoulders. He loves to learn about aviation and said he would go through pilot training, if money were no object.

Courtney bought John a scanner for Valentine’s Day one year, so they could hear the air traffic control tower employees and pilots interact.

Courtney contacted authorities at the Greenville Downtown Airport to see if she could surprise her finance with having their engagement photos taken at the airport. The airport and others opened their doors and planes to the couple.

Hank Brown with Greenville Jet Center allowed them out on the ramp and into the flight planning room and other places to take photos. Joe Frasher, airport director, “opened” the airport to them.

Airwolf Aviation Services, a flight school, and Mint Air let them have photos taken inside their plane. They also got to visit the control tower.

And John may finally get his chance to fly a plane. Michele L. Rash, director of operations for Airwolf Aviation Services, has donated a Discovery Flight to both John and Courtney as an engagement present.

“One of them can ride in the back while the other flies,” she said. “We’ll go to another airport, switch places and the other can fly back. Congratulations!”

Courtney and John will be married April 28.

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  1. says

    Greenville Downtown Airport is a people-friendly place where visitors are welcome, and a place where you can eat a great lunch or dinner at the Airport Cafe, right next to the flight line!

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