Final report on Sala plane crash due in March

News | Published:

A FINAL report on the accident involving the aircraft carrying footballer Emiliano Sala will be published in March.

A Cardiff matchday programme bearing the image of Emiliano Sala (26938462)

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch issued the update on the accident involving the Piper Malibu aircraft, which crashed into the sea off Alderney exactly a year ago.

Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were on board.

AAIB chief inspector Crispin Orr issued the statement this morning.

‘Today marks the anniversary of the accident involving Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N264DB, near Guernsey, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of Mr Ibbotson and Mr Sala at this time,’ he said.

‘The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has conducted a thorough investigation looking at a number of elements including operational, technical, organisational and human factors that may have caused or contributed to this accident. We have worked closely with many specialist organisations including the aircraft and engine manufacturers and the National Transportation Safety Board in the USA.’

The AAIB has published two special bulletins about the accident, one which contained preliminary factual information, and the second which contained medical information for the general aviation community about the dangers of exposure to carbon monoxide.

‘Our investigation is now at an advanced stage and we intend to publish our final report by the end of March 2020,’ said Mr Orr.

The plane took off from Nantes, France, late on Monday 21 January 2019. It disappeared close to Alderney. Mr Sala’s body was recovered on 6 February after an extensive search, but the body of the 59-year-old pilot was never found.


The footballer was on his way to Cardiff, where he had just signed up with the city’s club.

The AAIB investigation has so far found that Sala had been exposed to potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide

The plane wreckage has since been washed away.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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