The pilot of the crashed footballer sala flew without a valid license

More than a year ago, the Argentine soccer player Sala died in a plane crash – the final report is now available. Accordingly, the pilot did not have a valid license and was traveling too fast.

The pilot of footballer Emiliano Sala, who died in an accident last year, did not have a valid license for commercial flights. This emerges from the final report of the British Aircraft Accident Authority, which has now been published. Accordingly, the 59-year-old amateur pilot had not yet completed any training hours for night flights and should not have been allowed to fly at night. He was also likely suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning at the time of the crash and was flying too fast. He apparently lost control of the small plane when he tried to avoid bad weather.

Machine broken during maneuver

Both men died on the evening of January 21, 2019 when flying a propeller plane from France to Wales over the English Channel. According to the investigating authority for aircraft accident investigations (AAIB), the machine fell headlong into the sea near the Channel Island of Guernsey after an unsuccessful maneuver at a speed of 435 kilometers per hour.

AAIB investigator Alison Campbell said on the release of the report the plane flew erratically towards the end when the pilot tried to avoid a bad weather front. "The weather was bad and it was clear from his radio messages that he had to maneuver to get around this." The aircraft broke during the maneuver carried out at too high a speed. According to the authorities, no one was able to survive the subsequent impact.

"Then you already know"

The Argentine Sala, who previously worked for FC Nantes, was on his way to his new club Cardiff City after transferring a million. It was only after almost two weeks of searching that the plane was discovered on the ocean floor. According to the autopsy, Sala died of injuries to the head and trunk. The pilot’s body was never found. Both football clubs are still arguing about whether part of the transfer fee has to be paid.

The 28-year-old reportedly got involved in the flight in the propeller plane for reasons of time. He probably suspected that something was wrong: shortly before the accident, he sent a voice message to his friends. "I’m up here on the plane, which is apparently about to fall apart, and I’m on my way to Cardiff," said an audio file released after the accident. "If you don’t hear any news from me in an hour and a half: I don’t even know whether they’ll even send someone to look for me because they won’t find me anyway. Then you already know."

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