The pilot of the plane that crashed with soccer player Emiliano Sala on board had little faith in his plane. The BBC has obtained an audio recording of pilot David Ibbotson announcing he was wearing a “life jacket” during the ill-fated flight. He also told a friend that the plane was “unreliable”.
Sala was killed in 2019 during a flight from France to the UK. The 28-year-old Argentine Sala moved from the French club Nantes to Cardiff City at that time. His plane disappeared from the radar over the channel. Sala’s body was recovered, and the pilot’s remains were never found.
The BBC discovered that Ibbotson had complained over the phone to a fellow pilot about his plane after his previous flight to Nantes. He could hear a suspicious sound in the air, among other things. “I was halfway across the channel when I heard a bang,” said the pilot. Also, the pedal will not function properly. “This plane has to go back to the hangar.”
Sala did not reassure herself either. He sent another audio message to his friends from the plane and said he was “scared”. “It looks like the device is breaking down.”
It turned out later that the pilot did not have the correct papers to make the flight. The businessman who arranged the trip was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.
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