In 2019, it was revealed that the pilot of the plane carrying Argentine football player Emiliano Sala said during the flight, “This plane is dangerous”. The BBC has received the final audio recordings of Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on the plane.
The plane carrying Sala, who was transferred from France’s Nantes club to Cardiff City, which was playing in the Premier League at that time, crashed in the English Channel on 21 January while arriving in Cardiff.
The body of 28-year-old Sala was found 18 days later, and Ibbotson could not be reached.
It was stated that the 35-year-old Piper Malibu-type plane with only Sala and Ibbotson was arranged by the Argentine striker’s manager.
SALA: ‘I’M VERY SCARED’
“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s about to shatter,” Sala said in a voice message to friends as the plane took off at Nantes Atlantique Airport. If you don’t hear from me in an hour and a half…. I don’t know if they will look for me but they can’t find me. “My friend, I am so scared,” he says.
The 59-year-old pilot Ibbotson said in a voice message to a friend:
‘I WILL WEAR MY LIFE VEST’
“I’m taking a football player from Cardiff. Just picked up from the Nantes club. For like £20 million. They gave me the task of picking it up in a dangerous plane.
“Normally my life jacket is between the seats, but tomorrow I will definitely wear my life jacket.”
Ibbotson also explains in the recording that the day before, on the way to Nantes, the plane made sounds like an explosion, a thin layer of steam came from the engine to the cabin, the left brake pedal did not work, and he says, “This plane must be pulled into the hangar.”
During the court process, it was revealed that Ibbotson did not complete his night flight training and did not have a commercial flight license.