The park will offer beautiful vistas of the city around Clinton, as she speaks. Imagine a raised platform down at the end of these rows of trees, an adoring crowd waving "Hillary 2016" signs over their heads as they cheer.
And then imagine a plane flying by in the clear blue sky overhead, writing the word "BENGHAZI."
New York City is a very good place for aerial advertising. A lot of people in not-a-lot of space. Airplane-based advertising is not uncommon at all. A Geico banner regularly patrols up and down the Hudson River behind a small prop plane. A few weeks ago a plane wrote out "NERO" over a luxurious party on a yacht. (It was supposed to write "ZERO." Oops.)
So why wouldn't some of the more clever people at the RNC or on Rand Paul's team figure out that they should hire an airplane, too? What better way to get some headlines?
There are different ways of doing both banners and skywriting, Ted de Reeder of National Sky Ads explained when I spoke with him by phone. His company does the sorts of banners that are composed of a series of tall red letters strung out behind the plane, and the skywriting that is five planes flying in formation. "They do it digitally, like the old dot-matrix printers," he explained, with planes turning the writing on and off, sort of like below.
The white parts are when the planes create smoke, working from left to right.
Of course, the planes aren't fighter jets. They're what de Reeder referred to as "two-sixes," with 650 horsepower. "It sounds like Hell's Angels," he said. (All of the pilots his company uses are American Airlines captains working on their day off.) The letters the planes write are the size of the Empire State Building and stretch for miles.
Now, you may notice a problem above: The skywriting only works on clear days (which Saturday in New York is not expected to be). The planes burn a mix of biodegradable oil ("it's a lot like K-Y,' de Reeder said) and water. "It goes in the exhaust chamber and it comes out as smoke." White smoke. Which is hard to see against clouds.
Joel (who declined to offer a last name), works for AirAds and said that using color in the smoke, which is possible, requires a different sort of plane. Normal planes "burn [the oil] off pretty hot, so any coloring burns off, too." The only group equipped to do it effectively, he said, was the French Air Team, which probably wouldn't rent itself out for the Ted Cruz campaign.
Skywriting, he said, is visible for an "eight-to-10-mile radius" -- but the duration for which they can be read varies depending on wind. Wind dissipates the smoke.
Joel's planes also fly printed banners, which they make in-house. Those can only be seen for a few blocks, which would certainly be enough for viewers (and cameras) on Roosevelt Island. But there's a catch: You can't fly a banner there. Since planes dragging banners fly lower (given that the banner needs to be small enough to get aloft but large enough to be able to be read), those planes aren't allowed to fly over the city. They are only allowed to go up the Hudson, over the George Washington Bridge ("Having traffic problems?") and back down the river to New York Harbor. Roosevelt Island, situated in the East River between Queens and Manhattan, isn't accessible.
In other words, it would have required a lot of luck for skywriting to interfere with Clinton tomorrow, based largely on the weather. (It's supposed to be partly cloudy, but de Reeder said that wasn't good enough.)
For what it's worth, neither of the companies I spoke with indicated that they'd been hired to do so anyway -- though neither seemed to have many concerns about doing so. "I do a lot of controversial stuff," de Reeder told me. "I don't discriminate. 'Vote for Change,' and then the next one up is, 'Impeach Obama.' Whatever."
An if you're thinking that this article might inspire someone to get a plane up tomorrow: Nope. It takes a few weeks to bring a project together. But there is more than enough time to contact Joel or de Reeder for all of your "Impeach Clinton" needs.
Update: It has been rendered even more unlikely. The FAA closed the airspace over Roosevelt Island.