Sea of flowers for Sala from 2019 / Image: REUTERS
More than two and a half years after the fatal plane accident of professional footballer Emiliano Sala, the organizer of the flight has been found guilty. A jury in Cardiff decided on Thursday that the 67-year-old businessman was responsible for endangering the safety of the machine.
The 28-year-old Sala was to move from French club FC Nantes to Welsh club Cardiff City in a million dollar transfer. On the flight between the two cities, the single-engine Piper Malibu business jet crashed into the English Channel near the island of Guernsey on January 21, 2019. The Argentine Sala and the 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson died.
The amateur pilot did not have a valid license for commercial flights. He had also not completed any training hours for night flights, was probably affected by carbon monoxide poisoning at the time of the crash and was traveling too fast. It was only after almost two weeks of searching that the plane was discovered on the ocean floor.
The entrepreneur arranged the flight together with an agent, but was unable to fly himself because he was in Paris with his wife. Instead, he asked Ibbotson to take over the flight, which was regularly on his behalf. The verdict is due to be announced on November 12th.