Pilot involved in Montreal plane crash made successful emergency landing before

·1 min read
A member of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) inspects the wreckage of a plane on Sunday at a crash site in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A member of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) inspects the wreckage of a plane on Sunday at a crash site in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The pilot whose plane crashed in Montreal on Saturday, killing the lone passenger on board, made a successful emergency landing at least once before.

Gian Piero Ciambella is an award-winning pilot who was forced to land on a Montreal street in 2006.

On Saturday evening, however, his 1974 Cessna 172 crashed in Parc Dieppe, near Île Saint-Hélène. The other person on board, who has not been publicly identified, died in the fiery crash.

The plane was towing a banner that read: ''will you marry me." Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the accident, but authorities received information about the plane's engine problems.

The pilot has been in hospital since the accident.

"Mr. Ciambella is a very experienced pilot," said Paul Fréchette, a pilot and former investigator with the Transportation Safety Board.

In 2006, Ciambella had to make an emergency landing— using the same plane that crashed on Saturday — on busy Parc Avenue in Montreal after an engine failure.

The accident, which caused no injuries, was the subject of a TSB report and earned him the Robert-Piché award for achieving a life-saving, "extraordinary piloting feat."

Ciambella's aerial advertising company, Aerogram, owns the plane involved in the crash.

Investigators hope to speak with Ciambella when his condition improves. The TSB took over the investigation of the crash after police and firefighters were deployed to the site Saturday evening.

The plane engine was sent to Ottawa for examination.

"We haven't ruled out anything," said Chris Krepski, a spokesperson for the TSB.

It appears the marriage proposal banner fell in the Saint-Lawrence River shortly after the crash, but it hasn't been retrieved, Krepski said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting