Windsor·Video

Airplane 'engine failure' leads to one-of-a-kind promposal

A high school student from Sarnia, Ont. took his promposal to the next level — some would even say sky high.

'When she wasn't paying attention, I just pulled back the power in the airplane'

Luc Dubois, left, and Rafella Garito were immediately photographed when they got off the plane. Garito had just been surprised with a promposal high in the sky. (Submitted by Luc Dubois)

A high school student from Sarnia, Ont. took his promposal to the next level — some would even say sky high.

Luc Dubois, 18, said he's dreamt about being a pilot since he flew in a small plane at the age of 10. Today, he's pursuing a career in aviation — after earning his pilot's licence in March.

But with the school year coming to an end, Dubois wanted to incorporate his flying abilities into a creative way to ask his girlfriend, Rafella Garito, to prom.

"I've seen [promposals] on YouTube and I see them at school over the years," said Dubois. "I wanted to make one that would stand out by doing something with my flying."

With the help of a teacher at St. Patrick's Catholic High School in Sarnia, Dubois modified a safety checklist to make it look like attending prom was the most important rule to follow. (Submitted by Luc Dubois)

With help from one of his teachers, his promposal plan was in motion: edit a safety checklist using Photoshop, put a GoPro in the plane, fake an engine failure and film the whole thing.

"Raf's pretty used to me taking video, so me having a GoPro on the dash didn't phase her," said Dubois, who is an avid photographer and videographer.

So how did the promposal go?

A video of the promposal — shot and edited by Dubois — shows Garito's reaction when the plane's engine appears to stop working about 20 minutes into the flight.

"When she wasn't paying attention, I just pulled back the power in the airplane. And she said, 'Oh my god. What's that?' he recalled.

From there, Dubois pulled out the safety checklist for Garito to read — which included a series of troubleshooting steps.

"Trim for best glide … fuel selector … carb heat on … primer on," she reads, ignoring the last step on the manual.

WATCH: Tap on the player below to see a small portion of the promposal.

Sarnia teen reacts to surprise 'promposal' on airplane

3 years ago
Duration 0:58
Rafella Garito says she was nervous when her boyfriend and pilot Luc Dubois told her the engine had failed during an April 2019 plane ride. The whole thing was a set up for an elaborate promposal.

But there was one more step she almost forgot, before Dubois asked her to keep reading through the manual.

"In order to land safely, passenger must go to prom with pilot," she repeated.

Even after reading it twice, Garito still didn't understand what was happening. Eventually, Dubois had to ask her directly if she would be his prom date.

"I was just trying to read him the step, but I wasn't thinking what it actually meant," said Garito. "That's why I had to repeat it. I couldn't understand."

Why go the extra mile?

For Dubois, there were two reasons why he wanted to pull off such a unique promposal.

The first, he said, was because a lot of teenagers in Sarnia didn't do one at all.

"I'm not just going to be that lame guy that doesn't ask his girlfriend to prom and assumes they're going to go. So I said, 'I'll ask you.' So she was always expecting me to do something — but I had a big plan."

Garito and Dubois attended prom together on May 11. (Submitted by Luc Dubois)

But the second reason, he said, is simply because he wanted to make his girlfriend feel "very special."

"She's been having a tough time. Her life's not easy."

According to Dubois, Garito moved to Canada three years ago from Venezuela. Due to the current economic crisis in Venezuela, her mother sent her to Canada by herself to finish high school.

"She has not seen her family in almost three years, but is still remaining strong and has to be one of the bravest people I've ever met," he said.

"I was trying to think of a way I could have a small part in making her high school experience the best possible, so I came up with this."

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