Breaking: Emiliano Sala pilot and plane did not have required license

It has been revealed that neither the pilot or plane in the death of Emiliano Sala had the required license for commercial flights.

Sala died when travelling to Cardiff from Nantes on 21 January, when the plane came down in the English Channel.

The Argentine forward signed for Cardiff City for a club record fee of £15 million.

Principal Inspector Brian McDermid said: “The aircraft was extensively damaged and the wreckage was in three parts, held together by electrical and flying control cables. The engine had disconnected from the cockpit area, and the rear section of the fuselage had broken away from the forward section.

“The cockpit area and instrument panel were badly disrupted, such that it would not have been possible with any confidence to determine the position of controls and switches before the crash.”

The authorities have never found the body of the pilot, David Ibbotson.

Before the crash, Sala sent WhatsApp messages to friends admitting that he thought the aircraft would fall apart.

Air Accidents Investigation Branch report earlier today found that, Ibbotson lost control of the plane and the flight was “not conducted in accordance with safety standards applicable to commercial operation”.

Ibbotson had no previous flying experience at night and his pilot rating had expired three months before the incident.

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