UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.: Mystery solved! LoCO just received a message from pilot Caleb Lesher wherein he revealed himself to be Humboldt’s heroic skytagger. He even provided us in-cockpit photo evidence (see above) before graciously answering a few questions.
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LoCO: Humboldt wants to know: What made you decide to do this? How does a person learn to skywrite and how long have you known how to do this?
CL: I figured everyone could use a few smiles in this time! Skywriting is sort of a lost art, not much out there about how to do it, just trial and error. I installed the smoke kit on my airplane a few years ago for fun, and have occasionally tried to draw or write things. The peace sign was an on the fly decision that turned out pretty well! Different weather conditions make the smoke either linger or blow away. Today was a good day for it to stick around.
LoCO: Nice. I’ll say that we received quite a few photos of your work this morning. People were genuinely excited by this. Any plans to surprise us with sky joy again?
CL: That’s great, seems like everyone enjoyed it. Today was my Sunday before I go back to my regular flying job this week. Maybe if we get some good weather again. [Note: When he’s not creating happy air drawings, Lesher is an air ambulance pilot for Cal-Ore Lifeflight]
LoCO: Well, cool, Caleb. Thank you so much for reaching out! I hope Humboldt buys you many beers when they are again allowed to.
CL: Ha! Happy to make people smile!
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Original Post: Northern Humboldt had good reason to step out of their quarantine boxes today. Multiple Outpost readers in the McKinleyville/Arcata area send imagery of sky smiley faces drawn by an as-yet unknown do-goody pilot. LoCO declares this an essential service.
In addition to the joyous puffy mugs, the aerial artist reportedly also wrote “LOVE” and “LOL.” (UPDATE: ☮️and ❤️️spotted, too.)
Hooray, we say!
Videos above and below by Anastasia Reiner