19-year-old Greggor Hines said he’s been flying since he was 9-years-old and got his pilot’s license at the age of 16.
He said it was a mix of frustration and anger that made him share his feelings in the sky, but it came as a surprise to him because he had no idea people were watching.
“It was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing,” Hines said. “I had been frustrated with the situation in general.”
In late April, flying in his dad’s Piper Grand Cherokee, he took off from Harford County Airport.
Hines said he was frustrated about his school year being disrupted and two of his friends testing positive for the virus
So he used a flight planning app and flew a complex path spelling out the words “blank COVID-19.”
“I thought it would be super difficult to get it, but once I got the hang of it you kind of get in the groove of learning how to make the letters,” Hines said.
He said the idea to share his frustrations came to him while he was mid-air, but he had no idea fellow pilots were watching as his flight path was getting picked up online.
“I started getting text messages in the middle of it asking what are you doing,” Hines said. “It was really funny because I was surprised so many people had seen it already.”
Now, after about two months of online classes and his two friends recovering from the virus, Hines said his message stands firm.
“I just didn’t feel like any other word could bring across the same feeling,” he added.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.