13 July 2020

Suspect arrested over E.Sala's death

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The pilot who was meant to be flying footballer Emiliano Sala but changed his mind at the 11th hour has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, it has been revealed. reports citing Dailymail that, David Henderson, 64, from York, was feared dead with the Cardiff City footballer after his Piper Malibu PA-46 plane disappeared off the Channel Islands on January 21 this year after hitting a winter storm.

He was then forced to post a Facebook message the next day stating that rumours of his death were untrue.

The original flight plan for the doomed flight from Nantes to Cardiff named Mr Henderson as the pilot - but he pulled out and his friend Dave Ibbotson, 59, from Scunthorpe, took the controls instead.

MailOnline later revealed that Mr Ibbotson held a private pilot's licence but not a commercial one required to carrying paying passengers - and should not have been flying at night or in bad weather.

Sala, 28, was travelling from Nantes to Wales when it crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21 after completing a £15million transfer to Cardiff City.

The plane was found three weeks 220ft down on the seabed - Mr Sala's body was discovered in the wreckage but his pilot Mr Ibbotson has never been located.

Mr Henderson was arrested yesterday by Dorset Police and has since been released from custody and is under investigation.

The footballer died from massive injuries to his head and chest and could only be identified by his fingerprints.

Mr Henderson had organised for a fellow pilot to pick up Sala who was on a return trip from France.

The pilot Dave Ibbotson, 59, who Mr Henderson was said to have hired for the job wasn't found in the wreckage, which was discovered on February 3.

Following the accident it was revealed that Mr Ibbotson should not have been carrying commercial passengers - as he was not qualified to fly at night.

Today, Dorset Police revealed that a 64-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act as part of the investigation into the crash.

Following the crash, French media reported pilot David Henderson, in his early 60s, from York was flying the missing Piper Malibu PA-46, which disappeared near the Channel Islands on Monday night.

He was registered as the pilot for the flight but later took to Facebook to confirm he was alive.

2019.06.20 / 10:36
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