Legal Cheek

City lawyer proposed to Ashurst associate girlfriend as their flight plummeted 24,000 feet in emergency landing

The couple reconfirmed their engagement once safely on the ground

Image via Facebook

A high-flying City lawyer has recalled the moment he proposed to his Ashurst associate girlfriend as their aeroplane to Bali, Indonesia, plummeted towards the ground.

Chris Jeanes, a lawyer at the London office of US law firm O’Melveny & Myers, was on board an AirAsia flight from Perth, Australia, when staff declared a mid-air emergency.

As oxygen masks dropped from the overhead panels, the 27-year-old corporate transactional lawyer — who had originally planned on proposing in Bali — asked his lawyer girlfriend Casey Kinchella to marry him.

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Jeanes told NBC News that airline staff began yelling “emergency, brace, crash positions” about 25 minutes into the flight. Fearing the worst, Jeanes was forced to bring his proposal forward. He continued:

“Luckily she said yes, we both reconfirmed with each other when we were on the ground.”

University of Southampton grad Jeanes joined O’Melveny & Myers in 2013 as a trainee and is an investment funds specialist, according to his firm profile. Meanwhile, 28-year-old Kinchella, originally from Australia, studied law at Queen Mary University of London and is a securities and derivatives associate in Ashurst’s London office.

Image via Channel 7

In a statement, AirAsia’s group head of safety, Captain Ling Liong Tien, said that the aeroplane was forced to return to Perth because of “technical issues”. He continued:

“We commend our pilots for landing the aircraft safely and complying with standard operating procedure. We are fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew and we will continue to ensure that we adhere to the highest safety standards.”

All 145 passengers onboard had their journeys rescheduled.