SKYNEWS VIDEO: Who Flies Those Banners Across The Sky?


Tuesday, October 26th 2021, 4:53 pm


TULSA, Oklahoma -

When someone has a message that they want thousands of people to see, flying it through the sky is a great way to grab attention.

If you've ever seen a plane flying messages above Tulsa or anywhere else in Green Country, it's probably pilot Brad Hayes, who has been waving banners through the sky for 17 years.

"The letter banners I can spell or misspell anything up to 50 letters and spaces ... we can do a lot of marriage proposals, baby gender reveals, grand openings, things like that," Hayes said. "It's worked out. It's not a full-time job, but I love doing it and I enjoy flying too."

The banner Hayes was flying Friday was a 60-foot long ad for a job fair. Brad says it takes a lot of prep work on the ground before someone's message can glide through the air across Tulsa.

We caught up with Brad and his crew member Martha at Pogue Airport in Sand Springs. First, they set up a stand in the grass that holds a rope attached to the sign. Then when Brad flies over it, the hook on his plane catches the rope, pulling the sign into the air.

"You know it's there, and that procedure is probably the most critical of what you're doing is the launch and the drop," said Hayes.

From there, he's off into the skies, doing something not every pilot gets to do.

"Oh, it drags the airplane down tremendously. The same power settings that I can go cross country at 95 to 100 I'm getting 50 miles per hour out of it with the banner behind it," he said.

Brad says he's learned a lot from great teachers over the years and says he'll never forget his first banner.

"Yeah the first one we ever did was 30 feet tall 160 feet long and we got it from a broker and did not know what we were getting into ... we didn't know how long it was until we opened the box," Hayes said.

Who knows what message he'll be flying next, you'll just have to keep your eyes to the sky.