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Crash pilot who killed Emiliano Sala flew ‘without owner’s permission’, court hears

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Pilot of plane that killed footballer Emiliano Sala when it crashed into sea flew without owner’s permission, court hears

  • Fay Keely said she told pilot David Ibbotson not to fly her plane anymore
  • She received reports from the CAA that Ibbotson violated air laws in 2018
  • She emailed David Henderson to ban Ibbotson from her plane in the future
  • Henderson is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court, charged with several security violations










The owner of a plane that crashed into the sea, killing professional footballer Emiliano Sala, said she had previously ordered the pilot involved not to fly the plane.

Fay Keely said she bought the plane in 2015 through the family-owned Cool Flourish Ltd, on the advice of David Henderson, from which point he became the operator of the plane.

Henderson, 67, who is on trial in Cardiff Crown Court charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft, was responsible for the maintenance and rental of the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft and the selection of suitable pilots. to hear from the jury.

David Henderson, 67, is on trial in Cardiff Crown Court after being charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft and several other aviation-related offenses in connection with the fatal crash in January 2019 that left Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were killed. 59

Cardiff Crown Court learned that David Ibbotson, right away, had been banned from flying the plane by the owner.  Fay Keely had been notified by the Civil Aviation Authority that he had previously broken two aviation rules while in the air

Cardiff Crown Court learned that David Ibbotson, right away, had been banned from flying the plane by the owner. Fay Keely had been notified by the Civil Aviation Authority that he had previously broken two aviation rules while in the air

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was on board 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 deal.

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was on board 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 deal.

The plane carrying 28-year-old Sala, who was involved in a multimillion-pound transfer from French club Nantes to Cardiff City FC, crashed into the English Channel in January 2019, killing 59-year-old striker and pilot David Ibbotson. came to life.

Ms Keely told the hearing on Wednesday that she had sent Henderson an email on July 6, 2018, saying that Mr Ibbotson would no longer be allowed to fly the aircraft after being notified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of two breaches that had taken place while he was in the air.

She said Henderson hired Mr. Ibbotson again, this time to fly a flight with her sister a month later, in August 2018.

She said: ‘Later in the year, in August, he tried to reach me while I was on vacation. He was going to fly with my sister and he was going to drive himself.

“After the event, I found out he wasn’t available and asked David Ibbotson to fly instead of him.”

“He let that happen without my permission,” she added.

When asked by attorney Stephen Spence QC whether she had warned Henderson not to re-enlist Mr. Ibbotson, she replied, “No. As far as I was concerned, I had made it clear that he was not allowed to fly the plane.’

Cardiff Crown Court learned that Mr Ibbotson's rating to fly the Piper Malibu involved in the crash, as pictured, had expired.  He also did not hold a pilot's license and was not allowed to fly at night

Cardiff Crown Court learned that Mr Ibbotson’s rating to fly the Piper Malibu involved in the crash, as pictured, had expired. He also did not hold a pilot’s license and was not allowed to fly at night

Wreckage of the doomed plane was found at the bottom of the English Channel

Wreckage of the doomed plane was found at the bottom of the English Channel

The court has already learned that Mr. Ibbotson was not licensed to fly, was not allowed to fly at night and that his license to fly the Piper Malibu had expired.

Despite this, when Henderson was unavailable to fly the plane with Sala between Nantes and Cardiff in January because he was away with his wife in Paris, the court heard that he had rehired Mr Ibbotson.

Jurors also learned that, hours after the overnight crash, Henderson had sent aircraft engineer David Smith a message telling him to “keep very quiet” and adding “to be very careful.” Opens a whole can of worms.”

Mr Smith, an employee of aircraft maintenance company Eastern Air Executive, said he was aware of some problems with the aircraft on January 21 before it was scheduled to fly back from France to the UK and insisted that it be checked by a French engineer.

The process continues.

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