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Old 23-01-19, 23:16   #1
 
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Soccer Emiliano Sala Pilot Was NOT Qualified to Fly at Night

Emiliano Sala's Chilling Last Audio Message as He Feared 'Plane was About to Fall Apart'
Search Team Finds 'Floating Objects' in Hunt for Cardiff City Star's Missing Plane: Aircraft Vanished After £15m Footballer 'Told Players of His Worry' About Flight to Wales Following 'Bumpy' Ride to France

  • Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was one of two people on the Piper Malibu missing off Alderney
  • Cardiff City FC are 'very distressed' about the Argentine striker who signed record £15m deal on Saturday
  • 28-year-old forward had left Nantes yesterday evening to travel to Cardiff to report for training this morning
  • Sala posted photo on Instagram saying his 'last goodbye' to former teammates hours before plane vanished
  • His mother and father are 'desperate' for news about their missing son who was excited about his transfer
  • Search was called off overnight at 5pm as authorities said survival chances for anyone in the water was 'slim'

AP/Daily Mail UK 23 JAN 2019.




The Cardiff City striker is still missing and feared dead after his plane disappeared over the English Channel on Monday night



Emiliano Sala told his former Nantes teammate he 'feared for his safety' before he took off on his doomed flight across the English Channel.

Rescue workers searching for the Premier League footballer have said they are not expecting to find any survivors after his plane vanished on Monday night and Guernsey Police said that the chances of survival were 'slim'.

The Argentine striker completed a £15million move to Cardiff City on Saturday before returning to France to bid farewell to his old squad at Ligue 1 side Nantes, posting a poignant photo alongside the words, 'The last goodbye'.

Sala was making a round trip in the same plane and when he arrived in France, he reportedly told ex-teammate Nicolas Pallois - who drove him back to Nantes-Atlantiqe airport - that the trip out 'had been bumpy and he feared his safety for the journey back.'

The 28-year-old was due to return to Wales in time for training this morning but the Piper Malibu aircraft he was in lost contact near the Casquets lighthouse off Alderney at 8.30pm on Monday night.

Cardiff City chief executive Ken Choo said everyone at the club was 'very distressed' and 'praying for positive news.'




Sala posted this photograph to social media last year, and regularly kept fans updated with his training. Friends said he was 'fulfilling the dream of a lifetime' by moving to the UK, and 'could not wait to start playing in Cardiff'



Emiliano Sala and Ken Choo CEO on January 18 at the Cardiff club as the striker got set to sign his three-and-a-half-year contact



Flowers have been left at the base of the statue of Cardiff City footballer Frederick Charles Keenor outside Cardiff City Football Club



Thousands of people have joined vigils in France and in Wales, and have laid wreaths outside Sala's former club in Nantes and new club in Cardiff.


.

Flowers, scarves, signs and candles have been left outside the Cardiff City ground for Emiliano Sala, as the day's air and sea rescue efforts came to an overnight pause without result



Welsh daffodils have been laid outside the Cardiff City ground in Wales as the team suspended training today



In Nantes, in western France, where Sala has played since 2015, the flag of his native Argentina sat side by side with yellow tulips and candles



Nantes fans came to the ground tonight to hold a vigil for their missing former player Emiliano Sala, in the hopes an air and sea rescue mission might still report good news. A coastguard spokesman said it had found 'debris' but no signs of the footballer or his pilot








Outside the stadium in Nantes many fans held up Sala's number 9 shirt. He had returned to bid farewell to his former team mates before starting a new chapter of his career in the U




Supporters proudly held flags and scarves aloft as they paid tribute to Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in Nantes



Tearful fans held scarves and candles tonight in Nantes as the Channel Islands called off their S&R mission overnight when darkness fell. It is due to start again tomorrow but officials said hopes of survival in the cold water was 'slim'





John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said he was not optimistic about finding Sala and the pilot. Pictured, the search off Alderney




'The Last Goodbye': Emiliano Sala posted this photograph on Instagram yesterday, bidding farewell to his old teammates at Nantes Football Club, after he signed a record £15million contract with Cardiff City FC



Speaking from Argentina, Sala's father Horacio said he was 'desperate' for news, and broke down in tears as he described him as a 'small town humble boy', adding: 'I just can't believe it.'

In an emotional statement the footballer's mother, Mercedes Taffarel, said her son was 'enjoying the best moment of his career so far.'

John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said he was not optimistic about finding Sala and the pilot.

He said: 'I don't think the coastguard are either. We just don't know how it disappeared. It just completely vanished. There was no radio conversation'.

French police, the French civil aviation authority and Nantes Football Club confirmed that Sala was one of the two people on board the Piper Malibu which lost contact near the Casquets lighthouse off Alderney at 8.30pm last night.

The Piper Malibu was flying at some 2,300ft and requested descent as it passed Guernsey but was lost off radar as Jersey air traffic control attempted to make contact.

It went missing as severe weather warnings about snow and ice were issued across France.

The official Nantes FC Twitter account posted a statement and a message to their followers about the missing striker, reading: 'The management and the whole Club are hopeful and it is the whole family of FC Nantes who prays that @EmilianoSala1 and the other passengers of the plane are finally found safe and sound,' read a tweet on the official account.

'FC Nantes joins the call of supporters for the rally tonight from 6.30 pm at the Royal Place in Nantes to drop a yellow tulip at the foot of the fountain,' they added in a second tweet.

The club later changed its profile picture to a photo of Sala.

Sala's former teammate, French Guingamp midfielder Lucas Deaux, tweeted: 'I hope from the bottom of my heart that this is not true.'

So far more than 1,155 square miles have been covered in the search for the missing aircraft.

Mr Fitzgerald said there could be a 'five per cent' chance of finding Sala and the pilot. He said: 'I think with the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time.

'The sea temperatures are very, very cold and just sap the core temperature of anybody in the water very, very quickly.'

Sala was 'fulfilling the dream of a lifetime' by moving to the UK, and 'could not wait to start playing in Cardiff', according to a friend in France.

When he left the grounds yesterday to head to Cardiff, Nantes FC tweeted: 'Merci Emi, forever yellow and green.'

After joining Cardiff on Saturday, Sala's sister Romina proudly shared the news story about his signing, saying: 'Big brother '.

His father Horacio told Argentine channel C5N he was made aware of the news by a friend.

He said: 'A friend called me and told me what had happened. I'm in Rosario now, I'm working because I'm a truck driver. I didn't know anything. I just can't believe it. I'm desperate. I don't know what could have happened.'

He said striker Emiliano, from the small town of Progreso in Argentina's northeastern Santa Fe province, had been excited to be moving to Cardiff and playing in the Premier League.

He added: 'To get the chance to play at a big European club was an amazing step for him and for his town back home. He is a humble small town boy. Everybody is watching the TV and waiting. Hopefully some good news arrives.'

His mother, Mercedes Taffarel, told the same TV station: 'We don't have any more news. The only thing I know is that the plane took off and they are searching for it, we don't know anything yet, they haven't found anything.

We are just here waiting, minute after minute. I spoke to him a few hours before he took off. I don't know what else to say, I'm so worried.

'They called me from France to tell me that his plane had gone missing and they were looking for him.

'We are in constant communication and desperate for good news. He was very happy and content with the transfer. He was enjoying the best moment of his career so far.

'He would come over often to visit us, and we would go to visit him there. He was alone, he didn't have any family members with him in France.'

In a statement this evening Guernsey Police said: 'During the course of the 15-hour search, which used multiple air and sea assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, a number of floating objects have been seen in the water.

'We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft. We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim. Two planes and a lifeboat are still searching. A decision about an overnight search will be taken shortly.

The Premier League club had signed Sala on a three-and-a-half-year contact on Saturday.

Nantes have announced their French Cup match due to be staged tonight against L'Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien has been postponed in agreement with the French Football Federation.

Amine Harit, a Moroccan footballer who played with Sala at Nantes before joining German side FC Schalke in 2017, suggested he was praying for the missing player in a tweet.

He wrote simply 'Emi..' followed by a string of praying hands and crying emojis.

Nantes forward Randal Kolo-Muani retweeted Harit's message on his personal account.

Sala is immensely close to his family in Argentina, and spoke to his mother who still lives there 'most days', but still believed his destiny was in Britain.

He's in touch with his family all the time, mainly on WhatsApp,' said the Brittany-based source.

'His mum often visits, along with his brother and sister. He's very loyal to them all, as he is to everybody.

'The English Premiership was his dream, though. Emiliano is also very religious.

'He prays a lot. His Catholic faith is very important to him.'

Speaking on TV channel CNEWS, Nantes President Waldemar Kita said today: 'I think that he came back because he wanted to say goodbye to his friends.

'He was a polite, kind and adorable boy, loved by everyone. He was very respectful, very courteous.

'I am thinking about his family and all his friends. For the rest, we don't know yet.

'I am still hoping that it is not finished, that he is somewhere, that he will be there. I have just found about this.

'I was not even aware that he was at Nantes. He is no longer owned by Nantes, he does what he wants.

'And I say that because I am still hopeful that we will find him.'

Sala was grew up in Progeso, an Argentine town with only 3000 inhabitants in Santa Fe province, in the centre east of the country.

'As a kid, I watched a lot of the English championship on TV,' he said in a recent interview in France.

Referring to two retired French players, Sala said: 'I liked Arsenal, with Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.'

Sala has a younger brother and sister in Argentina. The brother works as an electrician, and the sister works in a care home.

He left home when he was 15 to become a professional footballer, but is immensely loyal to his roots.

Sala could have been set to make his debut at the Emirates against Arsenal on
29 January.

Speaking on Saturday after signing for the Bluebirds, Sala said: 'I can't wait to start training, meet my new team-mates and get down to work.'

Also, speaking at the time of the unveiling, CEO & Executive Director, Ken Choo, added: 'It's obviously been a long process to secure the services of Emiliano, but I'm very pleased that we're now in a position whereby we can confirm his signature and officially announce him as a Cardiff City player.

'We see Emiliano as a significant acquisition and welcome him wholeheartedly to the Capital city of Wales. I'm sure all Cardiff City fans will join me in that and we can look forward to seeing our record signing in a Bluebirds shirt.'

Before switching to Cardiff, Sala was the third highest scorer in Ligue 1 this season with 12 goals, behind only Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.




A Piper Malibu light aircraft. A plane of this model is believed to have lost contact at 8.30pm



This graphic shows the lifeboat circling Alderney, in the ongoing search for the aircraft






The footballer's mother, Mercedes Taffarel, said her son was 'enjoying the best moment of his career so far.' Sala posted this image of himself with his mother alongside the caption, 'Thank you mum'



RIP Sala


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Old 24-01-19, 19:11   #2
 
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Update re: Search Called Off for Missing Footballer & Crashed Plane

Emiliano Sala's Sister Makes Desperate Plea for Missing Plane Search to Continue

Guernsey Police have called off the search for the £15m Cardiff striker in the English Channel - but Sala's sister Romina has appealed for the authorities not to give up






Romina Sala makes the plea (Image: Sky Sports)



Emiliano Sala's sister has made an emotional plea for the search to continue for her “fighter” brother following the Cardiff City striker’s disappearance.

After completing his club record £15million move to the Premier League on Friday night, Sala was on board a Piper Malibu aircraft which crashed in the Channel Islands on Monday evening.

The 28-year-old and the plane’s pilot – David Ibbotson– were the only men on board the aircraft and despite extensive searches, neither men has been found.

Guernsey Police called off the search on Thursday night with the force rating the chances of survival as “extremely remote”.

Sala’s sister Romina has travelled to Cardiff and in front of the media at the St David’s Hotel in the Welsh capital, appealed for the authorities not to give up.

She said: “We understand the facts and we really appreciate the efforts. We want to say thanks to the two clubs (Cardiff and Nantes) and everyone who is looking for Emiliano, but my message is please, please, please don’t stop with the search. For me, they are still alive.

“It is very difficult to express my feelings at the moment because it is really hard.

“We have had a lot of support from the two clubs and I thank all the fans for their efforts, but deep down in the bottom of my heart I know that Emiliano – who is a fighter – is still alive. I know Emiliano and the pilot are somewhere in the middle of the channel.

“We are not going to give up.”




Sala with his sister and mother


Sala had signed for Cardiff last Friday before the deal was officially confirmed on Saturday. Over the weekend he travelled back to former club Nantes to say goodbye to his team-mates.

His plane back to Cardiff from Nantes on Monday never arrived in the Welsh capital.

The footballer voiced fears about the safety of the missing plane in a WhatsApp audio message he sent to friends. In the message, he said:

“I am here in the plane that seems like it is about to fall to pieces. I'm scared."







Romina Sala added: “The last time I spoke with Emiliano was on Monday before he went to say farewell to the Nantes players. He was really excited to come over to Cardiff and we were in touch all day long sending pictures and messages.

“The comfort and support of the people from around the world with regards to the missing of Emiliano and the pilot has been incredible. Please try to be under the skin of the next of kin to try to understand the suffering of this moment.

"I understand the effort, but the plea is the same – please don’t stop the search. At the bottom of my heart I know Emiliano is still alive and somewhere in the Channel Islands.






“Questions are for another moment. Right now there are two families desperate to know the whereabouts of two people. Questions about how Emiliano went into the plane and what’s happened are for another moment, not right now.

“Without knowing what the next steps are, the next step is to go to the search place to try to push it forwards.

"The only thing I want is to find my brother and see him again.”


Plane Carrying Emiliano Sala 'Could Have Been Brought Down by Deadly Ice on Wings'

The missing aircraft was carrying the Cardiff striker and pilot David Ibbotson when it went missing on Monday night


The plane carrying Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala could have been brought down by deadly ice on the wings, experts have reportedly warned.

Sala, 28, was returning to South Wales having signed for the Bluebirds in a club-record £15million deal.

He had said his goodbyes to Nantes teammates and staff before boarding the light aircraft.

And aviation sources told The Sun that the build-up of ice on the wings could have been the plane's downfall.

One reportedly said: “There are reports that the footballer was texting saying the aircraft is shaking and breaking up.

“These are classic signs of icing on the wings. The pilot is most likely wrestling with a stall at 2,300ft. It is likely, though, that the aircraft hit the water in one piece otherwise debris would have quickly been found.”




A Piper Malibu plane (Image: Take Flight Aviation/Caters)


Pilot David Ibbotson, 35, had admitted he was "a bit rusty" at the controls of the Papier PA-46 plane prior to the flight and the plane went missing over the English Channel.

Both men are missing presumed dead with rescue chiefs admitting there is "no hope" of finding the duo alive.

Cardiff have confirmed they were not responsible for organising the transport for Sala.
In a haunting audio message sent on WhatsApp before the flight, Sala told pals the plane looked like it was "going to fall apart".




Pilot Dave Ibbotson is also feared dead



Sala had just signed for Cardiff in a £15m deal (Image: Maxppp/PA Images)



Guernsey Police confirmed at sunset on Wednesday they had called off the search for the night, and would take a decision on Thursday morning as to whether it would resume.

"After an intensive search using multiple aircraft and one lifeboat over the last nine hours, we have found no trace of the missing plane," they said. "With the light now fading, the search will shortly be suspended for the night.

"A decision about whether to recommence will be taken early tomorrow morning. There will be no further updates tonight."

The pilot flying the plane has been confirmed as 60-year-old Brit Dave Ibbotson, from North Lincolnshire.


Emiliano Sala: Search for Footballer and Pilot Called off - BBC News



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Old 30-01-19, 21:31   #3
 
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Update re: Missing Footballer Plane Wreckage Found >One Occupant Visible

Emiliano Sala Wreckage Pictured After Plane Cushions Found on Beach

The footballer and pilot Dave Ibbotson are missing, feared dead, after the plane disappeared


Mirror UK, 30 JAN 2019.



This is the first picture of wreckage believed to be from the plane carrying striker Emiliano Sala.

Investigators said earlier on Wednesday that two seat cushions that had washed up were likely to belong to the aircraft.

And Josette Bernard, who lives in Normandy, has taken pictures of a seat she found on the beach four days ago.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was advised by its French counterparts on Monday that part of a cushion was found on a beach near Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.


A second cushion was found in the same area later that day.

The AAIB said in a statement: "From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft."




Josette Bernard's photo of a seat of a plane she found on the beach


It went on: "Since we opened our safety investigation on Tuesday 23 January, we have been gathering evidence such as flight, aircraft and personnel records, and have been analysing radar data and air traffic tapes.

"We have been working closely with other international authorities and have kept the families of those involved updated on our progress."

The AAIB has established a "priority search area" of around four square nautical miles and commissioned a specialist vessel to carry out a survey of the seabed.

It would not confirm the location but said it is where it believes the aircraft entered the sea.

Due to the weather and sea conditions, this is expected to start at the end of this weekend and could take up to three days.

If wreckage is found, a remotely operated vehicle will be used to examine it.

The AAIB said it is aware that a privately-funded search is also being conducted and is "liaising closely with those involved to maximise the chance of locating any wreckage and ensure a safe search operation".

Marine scientist David Mearns is assisting the family of footballer Sala, who had just signed for Cardiff City, with this separate search.




Josette Bernard found the seat on the shore (Image: AFP/Getty Images)


He said on Monday it would focus on an area of 25 square nautical miles on the seabed north of Alderney.

The Piper PA-46 Malibu carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared over the English Channel on January 21 after leaving Nantes in France for Cardiff.

It requested to descend then lost contact with Jersey air traffic control.


Emiliano Sala's Family Hire Renowned Shipwreck Hunter to Find Missing Aircraft



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Old 05-02-19, 01:57   #4
 
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Update re: Missing Footballer Plane Wreckage Found >One Occupant Visible

'It's a Dream, a Bad Dream. I'm Desperate': Father of Footballer Emiliano Sala Tells of His Pain After The Plane That was Carrying His Son was Found at The Bottom of The English Channel

'One Occupant' Visible in Wrecked Plane

  • Two boats found the wreckage of Argentinean footballer's plane on Sunday
  • The striker's emotional father Horacio spoke to television channel in Argentina
  • Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson left Nantes for Cardiff on January 21
  • The plane went missing over the English Channel and could not be located
  • Crowdfunded vessel picked up sonar signal before the AAIB boat confirmed find
  • Wreckage of the Piper Malibu will now be probed for clues as to what happened
Daily Mail UK 4 FEB 2019.






Emiliano Sala's father Horacio, speaking after his son's disappearance. Yesterday he told how he was 'desperate' and in a 'bad dream' after the plane's wreckage was found on the sea bed





The specialist FPV Morven ship, pictured in Guernsey, was being used in a privately funded search for the plane of missing footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson...








The specialist search for the missing plane began off the coast of Guernsey yesterday morning and located the wreckage on the seabed just hours later.



Sala and pilot Ibbotson left Nantes in France for Cardiff on January 21 - after the star signed for the Welsh Premier League team, disappearing over the Channel.

The official search was called off after four days but Sala's friends, family and fans clubbed together to pay for a private search to continue with renowned shipwreck hunter David Mearns.

On Sunday morning, their efforts paid off.

Geo Ocean III left Ostend in Belgium at 9am and began combing the area. Within hours it was search vessel FPV Morven which picked up a sonar signal from the depths.

The wreckage of the Piper Malibu was formally identified by officials from the Air Accident Investigation Board.

The AAIB's vessel deployed a remote-controlled submarine to examine the plane and tonight confirmed it was the craft carrying the striker.

Families of both men have been informed of the discovery.

Sala's father said last night he had not had any contact with the rest of his family - who are still in a hotel in Nantes - and found out about the plane's discovery on TV.

'I communicated with them every day, but since I do not have Whatsapp it's hard to call them or call me. They told me that the days passed and there was no news of Emiliano or the plane,' said Horacio.

He said that the family are in the hotel along with 'eight or nine' friends who are believed to have received the news from Argentine embassies in France and England, at 9am.





The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) Geo Ocean III moved in to assist the Morven when it discovered wreckage. Geo sent an ROV to visually identify the wreck on the seabed


Both the AAIB's Geo Ocean III vessel and a private boat, which includes a side-scan sonar, were used to try and find the aircraft.

Teams from the AAIB have now moved into location at the site to recover the aircraft.
The vessel that made the discovery was lead by marine scientist David Mearns, who confirmed the identity and location of the plane.

He confirmed that it was in the early stages of this morning's search, around 9am, the discovery was made.

'But tonight they have heard devastating news and in respect of the families I won't comment any further about what has happened.'

The recovery vessel picked up something on the sonar 24 miles off Guernsey and made further passes over the area to pinpoint the location before going through various stages of identification.

David Mearns called the news 'devastating' but told Sky News that 'at least we were able to bring some sort of answer to the families.'









A track of the FPV Morven shows it returning to shore after the wreckage was discovered













Mr Mearns told Sky News: 'This is about the best result we could have hoped for the families'


The discovery came just two days after cushions from a plane were found on a beach near Surtainville in Normandy, France, directly east of Guernsey where the plane disappeared from radar.

Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared when their plane vanished as it passed near Alderney on 21 January during a flight from Nantes to Cardiff.
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Angry re: Emiliano Sala Pilot Was NOT Qualified to Fly at Night

Nantes Threaten Legal Action Over £15million Emiliano Sala Transfer to Cardiff City

The striker completed a January move from Nantes to Cardiff before his private plane disappeared

Mirror UK, 6 FEB 2019.


French club Nantes are threatening legal action against Cardiff over the Emiliano Sala transfer - even before his body has been found.


Mirror Sport understands that Nantes sent an e-mail demanding the £15m fee last Thursday and followed up with a legal letter on Tuesday.

They are threatening further action unless they get the first payment - the fee is spread over three years - within ten days despite the ongoing search following the Argentine striker’s tragic disappearance.


Cardiff have held off until they establish the full facts and to see who was to blame for the tragedy after the plane, the Piper Malibu N264DB, went missing with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board two weeks ago.

Investigators have discovered the plane in the English Channel with a body inside but have yet to identify who it is because of the poor weather.

They are also trying to establish who owned the plane, insurance issues and other details surrounding the flight which may mean it results in an insurance pay out.

But Cardiff are understood to be willing to meet their full obligations and, while Nantes have done nothing illegal, the timing of the request with the family still distraught with worry has caused upset at the Premier League club.


French club Bordeaux are also entitled to a cut of the fee, thought to be 50 per cent after Sala was on their books from 2012-2015 before joining Nantes.


Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed on Tuesday that their mission to recover the body inside the wreckage is underway.

An AAIB spokesperson said: "We are attempting to recovery the body. If we are successful, we will consider the feasibility of recovering the aircraft wreckage.

“Strong tidal conditions mean we can only use the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for limited periods each day and this will mean that progress is slow.

"Regardless of the results, we will not be making a further statement until the families have been informed."
END..
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Old 09-02-19, 01:58   #6
 
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Update re: Emiliano Sala Pilot Was NOT Qualified to Fly at Night

Emiliano Sala Confirmed Dead in Plane Crash After Cardiff Striker's Body is Pulled From Plane Crash Wreckage

Investigators have confirmed that the body of Emiliano Sala has been recovered from the wreckage of his plane that went missing last month.


Mirror UK, 8 FEB 2019.


A body was pulled from the aircraft, which was found on the bottom of the ocean north of Guernsey, earlier this week.

The plane, which was carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, disappeared off the radar around 8:30pm on January 21, as the Cardiff City striker was travelling from Nantes to the Welsh capital.

The investigation to find the plane was initially called off after three days, but Sala's family raised the funds to keep the search alive, with thanks to donations from the international football community.

Sala’s sister paid an emotional tribute to her tragic brother in the early hours of Friday morning.




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Old 31-03-19, 13:47   #7
 
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Update Re: Emiliano Sala Pilot Was NOT Qualified to Fly at Night

Cardiff Call for Action After Revelation Emiliano Sala Pilot 'Was NOT Qualified to Fly at Night'

Cardiff have claimed Emiliano Sala's life was put in danger after rules of flying were 'disregarded'

Daily Mirror UK, 31 MAR 2019.





Cardiff City have released a statement demanding those responsible for organising the doomed flight which killed Emiliano Sala are held "fully accountable".



In their strongest statement yet, the club have expressed their shock at revelations pilot David Ibbotson was not qualified to fly at night.

The BBC claim Mr Ibbotson was colour blind and would therefore not have been able to attain a licence to fly at night.

Sala was found on the seabed of the English Channel after the flight from France, where the Bluebirds' record signing had returned to Nantes to say goodbye to teammates and staff, back to South Wales came down.

Ibbotson is still not accounted for.




David Ibbotson was reportedly unqualified to fly at night (Image: GrimsbyLive)
In a statement, Cardiff said: "Cardiff City is shocked to hear the pilot, David Ibbotson, may not have been permitted to fly at night.

"The club remains deeply concerned that the pilot, and those who arranged the flight, seemingly completely disregarded the rules of flying and put Mr Sala’s life in such danger.

"We believe those who are responsible should be held fully accountable for their actions.

We reiterate our support for the Air Charter Association's call for more awareness of and better enforcement against illegal flights."

Sala had been signed by Cardiff for £15million from Nantes in January and was set to spearhead the Welsh side's charge for Premier League survival.

It has been reported Cardiff will tell FIFA they will not pay the transfer fee due to the forward's death making the switch "null and void".
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