Emiliano Sala crash: Pilot told friend plane was ‘dodgy’

The pilot of the plane that killed a football star told his friends that the aircraft was “dodgy” before the flight that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala.
Emiliano Sala crash plane crashed into the English Channel : Pilot told friend doomed plane was 'dodgy'

Emiliano Sala crash: Pilot told friend plane was ‘dodgy’

The pilot of the plane that killed a football star told his friends that the aircraft was “dodgy” before the flight that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala. 

Pilot David Ibbotson is heard in audio obtained by the BBC saying “I’ll be wearing my life jacket” on the journey from France to Wales. 

He had told a friend of hearing a “bang” on a previous flight. 

The plane crashed into the English Channel in 2019, Sala had just become a Premier League player – for Cardiff City for a £15m record signing from the French club Nates. 

The plane was being flown by Mr Ibbotson – a part-time pilot who didn’t have a licence to carry paying passengers, back to western France so the footballer could say goodbye and collect some belongings. 

He flew to Nates on Saturday 19 January and planned to return on Monday – the day after the crash.

Audio of a telephone call to a fellow pilot has been exclusively obtained by the BBC, revealing for the first time the technical difficulties Mr Ibbotson had on the journey to France.

The conversation was accidentally recorded and has since been obtained by the BBC’s Transfer: The Emiliano Sala Story podcast.

The footballer’s body was recovered from the wreckage when it was discovered, two weeks after the crash. Mr Ibbotson’s body has never been recovered. The plane wreckage was left on the seabed. 

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