The banner, which said "Wrong One – Moyes Out", appeared above the stadium just moments after the Premier League clash kicked off, and was immediately caught on camera by broadcasters.
The disgruntled fans who paid for the message had claimed that they were speaking for the majority, but it did not feel that way inside the Red Devils' stadium as a huge chorus of boos greeted the plane's appearance in the clear blue skies above the ground.
After Aston Villa scored an early goal to open the scoring, it looked like Moyes might be about to face another uncomfortable afternoon, but the players responded and enjoyed a 4-1 victory.
The airborne message was dreamed up in response to the contentious 'Chosen One' banner that is on display at Old Trafford, despite calls for it to be removed in the wake of United's increasingly troubled season under Moyes.
United fans raised £840 to hire the light aircraft to tow the new banner above Old Trafford.
Former United defender Gary Neville said the protest lacked class and most of the fans inside the stadium agreed. There were boos and songs of support for Moyes as the plane hovered above the stadium.
Moyes received a warm welcome when he took his place in the dugout and there were supportive songs for the United boss in the second half as it became clear the hosts were set for victory.
"The support inside Old Trafford has been terrific and if ever there was a show of support for their football club and for their team, it was today," the United boss said.
"Inside Old Trafford it was terrific, it really was."
Moyes said he took no notice of the plane.
"I was concentrating on the game," he said.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of the afternoon was when Moyes came out of the tunnel early and took his place on the United bench well before his players emerged.
The United manager, who has lost six home games this season, was pleased to see the response from the crowd.
"I just wanted everybody to know that I am the manager of the club and you know where I am," he said.
"I stand on the edge of the pitch every week. That's my job."
- Sports & Recreation
- Old Trafford
- Manchester United
- Aston Villa