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The pilot who organized the flight that killed soccer player Emiliano Sala is found GUILTY in court

The pilot who organized the flight that killed soccer player Emiliano Sala is found GUILTY of endangering the safety of an aircraft

  • David Henderson found guilty of jeopardizing aircraft safety in Cardiff court
  • 67 years, private plane arranged for footballer Emiliano Sala in January 2019
  • The aircraft fell into the English Channel, killing Sala and 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.


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The businessman who organized the flight that crashed and killed soccer player Emiliano Sala has been found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

David Henderson, 67, of the East Riding of Yorkshire, was found guilty in Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday morning.

Footballer Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, were killed when the private plane they were flying in fell into the English Channel in January 2019.

Henderson, 67, who was also a pilot, was unavailable to pilot the plane that crashed and killed Sala because he was on vacation in Paris with his wife.

Ibbotson, whom Henderson hired in his place, did not have a commercial pilot license, could not fly at night, and had an expired rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft.

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was aboard Ibbotson's chartered plane when it crashed into the English Channel while being transported from his former club Nantes to Cardiff, where he had just signed a multi-million dollar contract.

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was aboard Ibbotson’s chartered plane when it crashed into the English Channel while being transported from his former club Nantes to Cardiff, where he had just signed a multi-million dollar contract.

David Henderson, 67, was convicted of the deadly plane crash.  Henderson recruited fellow pilot David Ibbotson, 59, as a last-minute substitute to fly the plane from France to Cardiff Airport.

David Henderson, 67, was convicted of the deadly plane crash.  Henderson recruited fellow pilot David Ibbotson, 59, as a last-minute substitute to fly the plane from France to Cardiff Airport.

David Henderson, 67, was convicted of the deadly plane crash. Henderson recruited fellow pilot David Ibbotson, 59, as a last-minute substitute to fly the plane from France to Cardiff Airport.

A plane carrying 28-year-old forward and pilot David Ibbotson sank into the sea near Guernsey on the night of January 21, 2019.

The prosecution had alleged that Henderson was “reckless and negligent” in allowing Ibbotson to fly because he was not qualified to fly at night and did not have a commercial pilot license.

Although Henderson admits that he knew Ibbotson only had a private pilot license (PPL), he told Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigators and police that he did not know that the pilot did not have a certificate to fly after dark. .

However, text messages between him and Mr. Ibbotson in the months leading up to the crash show them discussing the pilot’s lack of a night flight qualification and Henderson encourages him to “make it official.”

Later, jurors heard that messages sent by Henderson after the accident included telling aeronautical engineer David Smith to “be very quiet”, adding: “You have to be very careful.” Open a whole can of worms.

Commercial

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