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Plane with ‘Will you marry me’ banner crashes into Montreal fireball, killing passenger

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Plane with ‘Will you marry me’ banner crashes into fireball in Montreal, killing passenger and injuring pilot

  • Cessna 172 drag wedding banner crashed on an island near Old Montreal on Saturday
  • The 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 dragging a marriage proposal banner, killing a passenger and injuring the pilot.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board said the plane, a Cessna 172, was pulling a banner reading “Will you marry me” when it crashed and burst into flames Saturday night.

It is unknown at this time whether the person making the proposal was the only passenger killed in the accident.

The pilot remained in hospital on Sunday night. He has been identified as Gian Pierro Ciambella, the owner of Aerogram, an aerial advertising agency.

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

The small plane burst into flames after it came down in Parc Dieppe near the Concorde Bridge of Montreal's Ile Sainte-Hélène

Firefighters arrived on the scene around 6 p.m. on Saturday

The small plane caught fire after it crashed in Parc Dieppe near the Concorde Bridge of Ile Sainte-Hélène in Montreal. Firefighters arrived on the scene around 6 p.m. on Saturday

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

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

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

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

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 6 p.m. at Parc Dieppe near the Concorde Bridge of Montreal’s Ile Sainte-Hélène, not far from where the Osheaga Get Together music festival is held. took place.

CTV News reported that the small plane took off from St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie airport at 5:46 p.m. On-site evidence suggests that when the Cessna hit the ground, it bounced and spun around before coming to a stop.

Video footage taken by bystanders showed flames engulfing the wreckage and a column of thick black smoke billowing into the sky.

“We are trying to speak to the pilot if possible,” said Chris Krepski, the spokeswoman for the Dutch Safety Board.

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

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

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

Ciambella owns Aerogram, an airborne advertising agency that specializes in flying banners like the one pictured above

Ciambella owns Aerogram, an airborne advertising agency that 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 remains of the plane were sent to a lab in Ottawa for further examination.

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

Witness Laurel Scala told CTV News that she and her husband saw the plane dragging its banner just before the crash.

“It seemed like the normal height for such a plane to fly if it had a banner,” Scala said.

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

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

The Cessna took off from St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie airport, ran into trouble, came down, bounced and spun around before coming to a stop

The Cessna took off from St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie airport, ran into trouble, came down, bounced and spun around before coming to a stop

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

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 made an emergency landing in Montreal

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

Ciambella, the pilot who survived, made headlines in 2006 when he crash-landed in the same 1974 Cessna on Montreal’s bustling Parc Avenue 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 “extraordinary pilot performance.”

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