Soccer Star Sala Plane Wreck Found! Body Visible In Footage

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  • Underwater searches using specialist vessels uncovered the wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft.
  • The missing footballer Emiliano Sala along with the pilot Ibbotson has been located by UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
  • The private search mission was financed through a crowdfunding campaign.

On February 3, the wreckage of the plane which was carrying missing footballer Emiliano Sala has been discovered.

What happened?

According to CCN, the underwater searches using specialist vessels uncovered an “object of interest” on the seabed. A remotely operated vehicle surveyed the area and, based on analysis of the video footage, investigators concluded that the object was wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft.

Sala, 28, and the 59-year-old Ibbotson were flying in the single-turbine aircraft from Nantes, in northern France, to Cardiff in Wales, when it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands on January 21. The plane that had requested descent on passing Guernsey, but disappeared from radar at about 2,300 feet.

The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has said it was considering its next steps in consultation with the police and families of Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson.

Crowdfunding campaign

The private search mission was financed through a crowdfunding campaign, with French World Cup star Kylian Mbappe among the footballers donating to the initiative.
Wreckage from the plane thought to be carrying the footballer was found Sunday by a privately funded search team working in close coordination with the AAIB. David Mearns, a marine scientist leading the private search team hired by Sala’s family, said the wreckage of the plane had been located by sonar equipment at a depth of about 63 meters within the first couple of hours of starting Sunday’s search.

Wreckage discovered

On February 4, an image released by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showed the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration N264DB.
Statement issued
In a statement issued on Monday, the AAIB said: “The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage. Tragically, in video footage from the ROV one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage“.
Experts on the larger vessel — Geo Ocean III — used by the air investigators confirmed it was the missing Piper Malibu aircraft. On January 30 seat cushions believed to be from the missing plane were found on a beach near Surtainville, on the northwest coast of France.
The AAIB intends to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.
Last week, Cardiff City and Nantes both held emotional tributes to Sala before their matches.

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Source: CNN

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