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Posted on Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Skywriter plane above Ann Arbor leaves U-M slogans in the sky

By Lisa Carolin


Bob Needham |

A small plane used the skies above Ann Arbor on Saturday to inspire the University of Michigan football crowd with Wolverines slogans.

"Hail" was one of the early words visible in the skies, and "Go Blue" followed.

Also visible in smoke were the Roman "M," and the number 133, thanks to the talents of sky writer Nathan Hammond. Hammond works for Oregon Aero Skywriters, which was hired by U-M to promote its football program.

"I put up the number 133 because that's how long the University of Michigan has had its football program," said Hammond, who flew out of Solo Aviation, which is headquartered at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.

"I was here last year putting up similar messages."

Oregon Aero Skywriters dispatches its four flyers across the country for similar events.

As far as flying over U-M Stadium today goes, Hammond said, "It's gorgeous up here today, which makes my job that much easier.

"This is the kind of bluebird sky we dream about, and there's great scenery below, too."


Spicy Whitey

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

I saw this last year, and was glad to see it again yesterday. :) Thanks, Nathan!


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

I seen HAIL, 133(said in the article what that was), and a couple Ms. Last thing he wrote was 87. What was that for as any article I've read on here always leaves more questions or others unanswered? Anyways, it was cool and a perfect day for it. Well done!

Rob MI

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

The "87" was in reference to the new "Michigan Football Legends" program, in which retired numbers (in this case, Ron Kramer's 87) are "unretire" with the consent of the family and given to selected players on the team as chosen by the head coach. See for a complete history and details.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

This was totally awesome -- On Friday, the children watched from the playground. The only problem they had was the fact we have some State children -- so they were wondering where was the S -- over this was great and brought back some ole memories when it was done more often. Thank you to whoever was responsible.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

This was awesome and according to a very excited 5 year old , " this the best day of my life!" It was so much fun to watch. Thank you for doing it and what a perfect canvas (clear blue sky) to write on... You made many people smile today.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

At one point, before it was finished, it said Hall...I sent a text to my cousins, the HALL boys. They loved it...and loved that their name then became HAIL, while driving down for the game. Well done! Keep 'em coming!

Ann English

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

The Roman M had been made already before I noticed the skywriting from one window. When I saw 133 skywritten, I thought someone was practicing various M's in the sky. From my location, H-A-I-L read upward. I read the H and A fine, but expected the word HAPPY to be skywritten. I didn't realize the third letter was "I" but did think the fourth at least resembled the letter "L". The skywritten lines would quickly widen when the airplane went onto the next letter. tdw, it may well have been a west wind blowing the letters eastward; I saw the Roman M had moved eastward and down while I watched the H and A being skywritten. If there had been no west wind, some treetops would have at least partially blocked my view of the 133 and H-A-I-L skywriting.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

My 9 year old, and all of her friends, got the biggest kick out of this. She kept coming in the house with reports of what was going on, and what was being written. It was incredibly exciting for all of them. Ah, to be a kid again...


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

They were practicing (and well!) Friday evening -- caught some good photos while waiting for our table at Mani Osteria.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

The kids definitely love it. Some adults, too.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Just once I wish they'd write "Surrender Dorothy". That would be hilarious.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

That would have been funny. Especially if someone came running out of no where yelling help me, she is after my red slippers.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

I was just coming here to write that exact same thing, but you beat me to it. Well done! :)

Katherine Griswold

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

The children at a playground three miles from the stadium enjoyed the messages as well. I was with about a dozen children when one of them pointed to the sky and said, "Look, it's an M!" All eyes were skyward for the next few minutes as the children watched "H-A-I-L" appear. Thanks you Nathan!

Wystan Stevens

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Missed this one. One summer afternoon, when I was about six years old (c.1949), and living near Burns Park, a skywriting plane came overhead and wrote "PepsiCola" in script, on the blue. Back then, seeing any kind of airplane was a novelty, but this was something I had never even heard of before. I was fascinated. But I don't recall ever seeing anything like that again.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Boycott all soda products. They have corn syrup and high fructose syrup which promotes obesity.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

did it convince you to be a Pepsi guy?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

I was watching it.Must have been windy up there.One letter would be blown away before another one could be made


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

I was too.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

That's not even true.. I was able to read everything that was written.