MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Most teenagers take a limo to their prom, but a Long Island student upped the ante this week when he and his date arrived by helicopter.

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, a helicopter landing is not unusual in a field. But for this purpose, it certainly is.

“I love flying. I fly helicopters and planes,” said Nick D’Amato, 17. “So why not make a big entrance?”

Joining D’Amato for his big entrance in Manorville on Tuesday was his prom date, Danielle Mignogna, who needed a little bit of persuasion, TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.

“I go on airplanes for vacation, but I really don’t like flying,” said Mignogna, 18.

The spectacle has lit up social media with fellow promgoers, who loaded pictures of the couple stepping out in style on the sports field at Eastport-South Manor High School.

At first, school officials were reluctant, but D’Amato’s father is the local fire chief, and he persuaded school officials that fellow firefighters would ensure it all went smoothly.

“I had quite a few men there,” said Manorville Fire Chief Sal D’Amato. “I had an engine, a ladder truck, and an ambulance there.”

Nick D’Amato has a pilot’s license, and has flown helicopters. But this time, he went as a passenger.

“Danielle was nervous, and she wanted me to sit in the back with her,” he said.

The young couple said they are longtime friends who met through their families. Nick D’Amato’s mother said she was never worried, because her son could grab the controls in an emergency.

“I’ve been up in a helicopter with him,” said Yvonne D’Amato. “He knows how to fly. He’s aware of his surroundings, and he has such a passion for it.”

Before landing, the couple toured the South Shore of Long Island. The experience has now eased Mignogna’s fear of flying.

“It was actually really smooth,” she said. “It was such a beautiful view. I would actually probably go back up again.”

And she may get that chance, since Nick D’Amato plans to fly helicopters for a living.

Nick D’Amato’s boss at a window washing business did the flying on Tuesday using his own private helicopter. He did it as a prom gift.


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