British Pilot May Have Been Responsible For Sala’s Death

According to reports released on Monday, the pilot of the ill-fated plane carrying late footballer, Emiliano Sala, could partly be blamed for the plane crash.

David Ibbotson was a part-time pilot, and was revealed to have made a couple of mistakes before take-off. He was also not qualified to carry commercial passengers as his flying licence was that of a private pilot. In addition to that, the Englishman did not have the necessary qualifications to fly in bad weather but he apparently flew the single engine Piper Malibu plane into a winter storm.

However, according to the interim report released yesterday by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, AAIB, they are yet to ascertain these claims. In a statement, the Principal Inspector of the AAIB, Geraint Herbert said:

“Today the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is publishing a special bulletin which contains all the factual information that we have found to date in our investigation into the loss of the Piper Malibu aircraft in the English Channel.

“So Far the Air Accidents Investigation branch has been gathering evidence. We have been gathering evidence from the wreckage, from video of the wreckage, we’ve been looking at radar evidence, we’ve been looking at weather reports we have from the area and we’ve been interviewing witnesses.

“The Air Accidents Investigation Branch will now analyse the evidence we have to try and build a picture of what happened between the last radar contact we have of the aircraft and when it came to rest on the seabed to try and determine why the accident happened.”

They also revealed that the plane attempted a return to France before experiencing sharp changes in altitude and finally dropping off radar.

The diagram of the flight’s last moments. Source: Google Earth

The AAIB also released pictures of the plane wreckage underwater and a diagram showing the last moments of the flight carrying Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson.

The plane’s left wing wreckage

The wrecked cockpit

The AAIB have also said that they are yet to determine the pilot’s involvement in the crash.

Meanwhile, the search for David Ibbotson’s body continues as his family have raised over £240,000 to fund the search.


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