Plane Went Up With a Marriage Proposal, Came Crashing Down

1 dead in Montreal accident
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2021 11:29 AM CDT
Plane Towing 'Will You Marry Me?' Banner Crashes
It's unclear if the proposal took place.   (Getty Images)

A particularly wrenching detail has emerged in the story of a small plane crash on Saturday in Montreal. The Washington Post reports the plane that went down around 6pm was towing a "Will you marry me?" banner. It had taken off just 15 minutes prior. Pilot Gian Piero Ciambella, who reported engine trouble, sustained injuries; his passenger died. It's unclear if the banner was spotted from the ground by the person who arranged for it or if the proposal took place. The CBC reports it's the second close call for Ciambella, who was forced to perform an emergency landing in 2006 due to engine failure.

He was piloting the same 1974 Cessna 172 at the time. Ciambella, the owner of an aerial advertising company, safely touched down on a Montreal street in that instance and was given an award for his "extraordinary piloting feat." The plane's banner wasn't found at Saturday's crash site; it's believed to have fallen into the St. Lawrence River. While the cause of the crash is under investigation, one former pilot tells the Canadian Press there's some inherent danger in towing banners. He explains engines must work harder to keep up their speed, which can increase the risk of losing lift and stalling. The planes fly low, which means there isn't as much time to react in the event of an issue. (More plane crash stories.)

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