October 18, 2021 11.47 am

Man on trial over Lincolnshire pilot and footballer Emiliano Sala death crash

The two-week trial starts on Monday

A man charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft which killed footballer Emiliano Sala and Lincolnshire pilot David Ibbotson after a crash in 2019 crash faces a two-week trial starting today.

The wreckage of a Piper Malibu N264DB aircraft carrying both the pilot and footballer was found in the English Channel in February 2019, after the plane crashed north of Guernsey.

Sala, 28 was on his way to Cardiff City after a £15 million transfer had been agreed with French club Nantes in January 2019, but the plane crash cost him his life.

Emiliano Sala pictured with Cardiff’s CEO and executive director Ken Choo after joining the Welsh club. | Photo: Cardiff City FC

The pilot, 59-year-old David Ibbotson from Crowle in North Lincolnshire, also died in the crash, but unlike Sala, his body was not recovered.

David Henderson, 66, from East Riding in Yorkshire, will appear at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday for a two-week trial after being accused of attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation.

Mr Henderson pleaded not guilty in October 2020, and a jury inquest into Ibbotson’s death has been postponed until February 2022, to allow for the trial to conclude.

Missing North Lincolnshire Pilot David Ibbotson. | Photo: GoFundMe page

The Air Accidents Investigations Branch conducted a report into the incident, and found David Ibbotson had likely been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, and that he was flying too fast for the plane’s design limits.

Investigators stated that he had no training in night flying, and held a private licence that did not allow him to conduct flights for reward.

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