On January 22, 2019, the main portals and channels in the world broke the news that would monopolize all the covers of the following weeks: the plane in which the footballer was traveling Emiliano Sala had disappeared in the English Channel. Since then, a long search began that included the collaboration of several countries and the participation of marine treasure hunters, who were key to finding the remains of the aircraft that transported the soccer player from France towards United Kingdom.
The Argentine striker who had been transferred from Nantes from Ligue 1 al Cardiff from Premier League he had already been dead for several hours, but at the time no one knew it. More than three years later, a new audio revived the memories of the tragedy that has only one convict and an outstanding debt.
In early February 2017, a forensic team from Dorset, England, identified the body that had been found within the remains of the Piper PA-46 Malibu like that of the athlete and moments later work began to determine how it had been possible for the aircraft to sink. With advanced research, the question changed and the big question to be resolved during the trial was how they had allowed the aircraft to take off.
David Henderson, the pilot who coordinated the footballer’s transfer, was found guilty of negligence in October 2021 and sentenced to 18 months in prison shortly thereafter. The 67-year-old man had been accused of not following safety rules elements to diagram the transfer in the Piper Malibu single-engine plane with registration N264DB that crashed into the English Channel with Sala on board while being piloted by David Ibbotsonthe other deceased.
This man was the one who ordered Ibbotson, who was not qualified to fly because he did not even have a commercial license, to pilot the plane, which was also not in a suitable condition to take off. To get an idea of this, the poor condition of the aircraft caused the pilot Ibbotson and Sala to suffer poisoning: “Emiliano died instantly from fatal head and trunk injuries due to a high-energy plane crash. It is likely that Emiliano was deeply unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning at the time of the accident”, determined the jury during the trial based on a forensic investigation, carried out in England and Wales to try to establish the causes and circumstances of the deaths. .
This finding of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) saturation of 58% would be related to a “gas leak leaked from heater hose with cab heater” and it would also explain the strange movements that the single-engine aircraft made before falling northwest of the Island of Guernsey over the English Channel.
This week there was a shocking audio which was sent by Ibbotson to a colleague of his after landing in Nantes. The pilot came from Wales and his mission was to pick up the footballer to take him to Cardiff and, in the files, it is clear that he knew that the conditions of the aircraft were deplorable: “I was flying and then ‘boom’. I thought: ‘What’s wrong?’. So I put everything ahead and checked my parameters, everything was fine and it was still flying, but it caught my attention, “he told a friend of his identified as Kevin Jones, according to the network. BBC.
In these audios, he also pronounces a deeply shocking sentence in light of the facts: “Normally I would have my life jacket between the seats, but tomorrow I will wear it.” In the dialogue he also hints that the left brake pedal was not working properly and is honest: “This plane has to go back to the hangar.”
“I’m in the middle of the English Channel and ‘bang’”, he pointed out, showing that some warning signs had already been identified on the outbound flight to Nantes. “That Malibu, it has like a fog from time to time. You can feel it, very, very low in the whole fuselage”, expressed to him in that conversation that it was recorded “accidentally”, according to the British media. There he noted that transportation was “unreliable.”
He was so unreliable that the next day the plane could not withstand a night storm that broke out during the trip and he – according to what was deduced – suffered poisoning just like the soccer player that prevented him from avoiding the fall.
The great pending debt is undoubtedly the situation around the payment of the footballer’s transfer. is that neither Nanteswho had sold the striker, nor Cardiffwho had bought it, took care of it Sala he was part of his teams at the time of his death.
In August of this year the TAS “considered that the transfer of the player from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC had been completed; and because the conditions set out in the Transfer Agreement were met before the player’s death, FC Nantes’ claim for the first tranche of the transfer fee was estimated at 6 million euros”. However, the issue is not closed because the Welsh entity issued a statement warning of its “disappointed” with the TAS and made it clear that he will not comply with the resolution: “It does not resolve the crucial question of the responsibility of FC Nantes (and its agents) for the accident, which will therefore have to be decided in another forum. Once the club’s lawyers have digested the reasons for the decision, we hope to appeal and we will not make any payment to FC Nantes in the meantime. If those appeals are unsuccessful and the club must pay the transfer fee, the club will take legal action against those responsible for the crash for damages to recoup their losses. This will include FC Nantes and their agents.”
The transaction had been agreed in January 2019, when the entity that was then a member of the English Premier League decided to make a record disbursement close to 17 million euros to acquire the record of the 28-year-old Argentine striker. Days later, when Sala was traveling to join his new teammates, the private plane that was transporting him fell over the English Channel: the footballer and the pilot died.