Man pleads guilty to flight charge in relation to footballer crash 

Man pleads guilty to flight charge in relation to footballer crash 

Emiliano Sala death: David Henderson pleads guilty to flight charge in relation to footballer’s crash 

David Henderson has pleaded guilty to attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation. 

The plane was carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson when it crashed into the English Channel in January 2019. 

66-year-old Henderson will go on trial on a separate charge, accused of endangering the safety of an aircraft. 

He is alleged to have arranged the flight that was carrying Sala and Ibbotson. 

The footballer was flying from Nantes in France to Cardiff on a multimillion-pound transfer deal. The striker had signed with the Bluebirds. 

Salas body was recovered the following month on the seabed, but the body of the pilot and the wreckage of the plane has never been recovered. 

At a hearing in October 2020, the court heard Mr Ibbotson’s licence to fly an aircraft commercially had expired in November 2018. 

At the start of the year, the investigation board (AAIB) reported the plane had been leaking carbon monoxide during the flight and a final manoeuvre by the pilot to pill the plane up had caused it to break up in mid-air. 

A jury inquest into his death was postponed until after Henderson’s trial and is scheduled for 14 February 2022.

 

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