Plane carrying ‘Will you marry me’ banner crashes in fireball in Montreal killing its passenger and injuring pilot

  • Cessna 172 towing marriage proposal banner crashed on an island near Old Montreal on Saturday 
  • Plane’s sole passenger was killed and pilot Gian Piero Ciambella was injured 
  • Canadian officials received reports of engine trouble on the 1974 Cessna after it took off from St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie Airport 

A small plane crashed on an island near Old Montreal while towing a marriage proposal banner, killing a passenger and injuring the pilot.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said the aircraft, a Cessna 172, was pulling a banner that read ‘Will you marry me’ when it went down and burst into flames on Saturday night. 

It is unknown at this time whether the person making the proposal was the sole passenger who perished in the accident. 

The pilot remained hospitalized Sunday night. He has been identified as Gian Pierro Ciambella, the owner of Aerogram, an aerial adverting agency. 

A Cessna plane crashed in Montreal on Saturday while towing a marriage proposal banner, killing a passenger and injuring the pilot


The small plane burst into flames after it came down at Parc Dieppe near the Concorde Bridge of Montreal’s Ile Sainte-Hélène. Firefighters responded to the scene at around 6pm Saturday

A column of black smoke rises from the site of the deadly plane crash in Montreal 

Police did not release any details about the deceased victim of the crash as of late Monday morning . 

Pilot Gian Pierro Ciambella (pictured) survived the crash and was taken to a hospital 

Montreal police said they answered a call reporting a crash at about 6pm at Parc Dieppe near the Concorde Bridge of Montreal’s Ile Sainte-Hélène, not far from where the Osheaga Get Together music festival was taking place.

CTV News reported the small plane took off from the St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie Airport at 5.46pm. Evidence on the grounds suggests that when the Cessna touched the ground, it bounced and spun before coming to a rest.

Video recorded by The 4K Guy – Fire & Police showed flames engulfing the wreckage and a column of thick black smoke rising into the sky. 

Additional footage from the scene depicts firefighters dousing the burning plane. 

‘We are looking to speak to the pilot when possible,’ Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said.

Krepski said in an interview that officials received reports of engine trouble on the Cessna, but investigators had yet to determine the cause of the crash.

This photo shows Ciambella’s 1974 Cessna 172 before Saturday’s crash 

Ciambella owns Aerogram, an aerial adverting agency, which specializes in flying banners like the one pictured above 

‘We haven’t ruled out anything yet,’ he said. ‘We need to take a close look at everything.’

The remnants of the plane were sent to a laboratory in Ottawa for further testing.  

Krepski said the proposal banner, which was believed to have fallen into the St-Lawrence river shortly before the crash, had not been found. 

Witness Laurel Scala told CTV News she and her husband saw the plane towing the banner moments before the crash. 

‘It seemed like the normal height that a plane like that would fly when it has a banner,’ said Scala. 

Canadian officials received reports of engine trouble on the Cessna, but investigators had yet to determine the cause of the crash

The Cessna took off from the St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie Airport, ran into some problems, touched down, bounced and spun before coming to a rest 

The wreckage was taken to a lab in Ottawa for testing to determine the cause of the crash 

Ciambella made headlines in 2006 when he carried out an emergency landing in Montreal 

Ciambella, the pilot who survived, made headlines in 2006 when he made an emergency landing in the same 1974 Cessna on the bustling Parc Avenue in Montreal after his engine stalled. 

CBC.ca reported that in the wake of the daring landing, which caused no injuries, Ciambella received an aviation award for an ‘extraordinary piloting feat.’

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