Emiliano Sala plane crash investigation continues


The investigation into the crash of a private plane carrying Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala has uncovered that the pilot did not have a licence for commercial flights.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed that pilot David Ibbotson held a private pilot’s licence, meaning he was not eligible to carry passengers for any reward.

An interim report released by the AAIB said he could only fly passengers within the European Union on a cost sharing basis, yet it is unknown whether this was an agreement made with Sala.

The AAIB also said the plane was discovered, after a private investigation, in three parts on the seabed after a submersible with cameras was sent underwater.

The report states the plane was “extensively damaged” and the wreckage was held together by electrical and flying control cables, while the engine was found disembodied from the cockpit area.

The pilot’s licence and logbook was not found, meaning the AAIB were unable to calculate how much flying Mr Ibbotson had recently done.

Investigators would normally look to establish how many hours a pilot had flown in the preceding 28 and 90 days before a crash.

Mr Ibbotson had approximately 3,700 flying hours and held a private pilot’s licence in the UK and US.

An AAIB spokesman said:

“We have gathered evidence from radar, weather reports, video of the aircraft on the seabed and interviews with witnesses.

“Some operational aspects are yet to be determined, such as the validity of the pilot’s licence and ratings.

“Our priority now is to go through the evidence, much of which is extensive and complex, so we can piece together what happened between the aircraft being lost from radar and it coming to rest on the sea bed.

“This will help us understand the potential causes of the accident.”


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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