David Ibbotson, the pilot carrying Emiliano Sala, and the plane on which the Argentine footballer was traveling did not have the necessary licenses to operate commercially, as revealed on Friday the report of the Department of investigation of aircraft accidents in the United Kingdom (AAIB).
Investigation has revealed that Ibbotson lost control of the aircraft during a turn, when he was trying to regain visibility. The conclusions determine that it was “more likely” that it would happen because the flight “was not carried out in accordance with the safety standards applicable to a commercial operation,” says the report. Crispin Orr, the principal investigator of the case.
The pilot had no prior training to fly at night and your SEP license, which allows you to fly a single-engine plane, had expired three months earlier of the accident. In addition, he was paid for the trip, something to which he was not authorized by his license.
The investigation published this Friday concluded that both Sala and Ibbotson “probably” suffered carbon monoxide inhalation poisoning as the plane hurtled into the sea, which caused at the moment of impact they were already unconscious.
The presence of CO in the plane’s cabin could have ultimately caused Ibbotson not to respond during the last four minutes of the flight, since, according to the researchers, in the case of poisoning by this gas, the awareness “between one and three minutes”. Further, there was no detector with an active warning on the plane that could have alerted the pilot to the presence of carbon monoxide.
While Salas body was recovered weeks after the accident next to the plane’s fuselage, Ibbotson’s is still at the bottom of the sea.
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