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Chilling final moments before Emiliano Sala’s death and pilot’s grim phone call released

The chilling final moments before Emiliano Sala’s death and the pilot’s grim phone call has been released earlier this week.

Pilot of the plane, David Ibbotson, in which the footballer died said that the plane was “dodgy” and said he would wear his lifejacket prior to the flight.

He was flying the 28-year-old from Nantes in France to Wales to join the then Premier League club Cardiff City in 2019 when the plane crashed in the English Channel close to Guernsey.

Ibbotson also died in the crash but in audio obtained by the BBC, the 59-year-old is heard describing his concerns about the aircraft. A warning for the content you’re about to view or listen to…

“I picked a footballer up from Cardiff. He’s just been bought from Nantes for, I think it was about, 20 million pounds worth or something,” he said to his friend, Kevin Jones, in a voicemail.

“They’ve entrusted me to pick him up in a dodgy (aircraft).

“Normally I have my lifejacket between my seats but tomorrow I’m wearing my lifejacket, that’s for sure.”

The pilot, whose body was never found, was only an amateur pilot and wasn’t evem allowed to fly passengers or fly during the night, claimed that he had heard a “bang” during the outward flight.

“I’m mid-Channel and ‘bang,'” Ibbotson added.

“I’m flying along and then ‘boom’. I thought, ‘what’s wrong?’ So I put everything forward and checked my parameters, everything was good and it was still flying, but it got your attention.

“That Malibu, occasionally you’ve got like a mist every so often. You can feel it, very, very low throughout the airframe.”

The 59-year-old also told Jones that “this aircraft has got to go back in the hanger” after discovering that the plane’s left brake pedal was not working upon arrival at Nantes airport.

Voice notes from the footballer have also emerged which reveal that Sala was also concerned by the state of the aircraft and was left “scared” to fly.

“Man, I’m scared,” he told his friends.

“I don’t know if someone will look for me because they won’t find me.”

The man responsible for organising Sala’s flight was jailed almost three years after it crashed.

David Henderson, 67, was found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft at Cardiff Crown Court in October, having previously admitted a charge of attempting to discharge a passenger without valuable consideration.

The plane carrying 28-year-old Sala went down into the English Channel on the evening of January the 21st of 2019, killing the striker and pilot David Ibbotson, 59.

Henderson was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with a full inquest into the Argentinian’s footballer’s death taking place a year after.

Emiliano Sala died of head and trunk injuries when the plane he crashed, had head and chest injuries, but would have been unconscious at the time of the crash because of carbon monoxide poisoning, and it emerged that Sala was formally identified by a fingerprint expert.

The court told that his body was recovered from international waters off the island of Guernsey.

Four weeks ago, Cardiff were ordered to pay the first instalment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee after the court of arbitration for sport ruled the deal was complete before his death.

The French side’s claim for the first €6m (£5.1m) under the terms of the deal has been upheld by the Cas.

A Cas statement said it had dismissed Cardiff’s appeal “in relation to the decision issued by the bureau of the Fifa players’ status committee on September 25 2019 (the challenged decision). The challenged decision, in which Cardiff City FC was ordered to pay €6m to FC Nantes in connection with the transfer of the player Emiliano Sala between the clubs, is confirmed.”

Cardiff said they were “disappointed” by the decision. “Once the club’s lawyers have digested the reasons for the decision we expect to appeal and will not be making any payments to FC Nantes in the meanwhile,” the club said.

“If those appeals are unsuccessful and the club is liable to pay the transfer fee the club will take legal action against those responsible for the crash for damages to recover its losses. All our thoughts must continue to be with Emiliano’s family, who are now supported financially by the Trust the club put in place for them.”

This is what fans said as footage on the chilling final moments before Emiliano Sala’s death and the pilot’s grim phone call is released…

@NigelHorton5: Just… shocking! Why oh why?

@LipsJsm: Why didnt Ibbotson try and land on one of the channel island airstrips, there are so many issues surrounding the pilot and the guy that supplied the aircraft.

@nufcrichys: I’m more wondering why he even took off if he knew the plane was a risk

@DafyddJames13: Absolutely shocking, it should never been aloud to take off.

@robhops: Awful tragedy. Poor guy and his family.

@HLTCO: It’s always been utterly baffling to me that they would fly a player they’d just spent £20m on over in a plane that no one seemed to think was airworthy. It’s heartbreaking hearing that phone-call from Sala. 😔

@PauloHill16: Why didnt they refuse to get on it if they were that concerned especially the Pilot

@Formerlyhappy: Why oh why would either of them board this dodgy plane? Both knew it was a disaster waiting to happen yet still climbed aboard.

@Olliebluebirds: Still saddens and angers me every single day why this flight happened

@dalemckinnon8: Wow that is chilling stuff

@wescart_: Genuinely unbelievable.

@MellyMaestro: God. I don’t know what’s worse – that he knew he was gunna die when he was on the plane or that the pilot knew it was gunna happen the day before. Turns my stomach.

@Ashley123p: Surely a player worth £20m had some sort of say of how to travel?! Such a sad case

@Im_RobM: This is awful 😔

@richyrich1971: This is absolutely chilling 😞😞

@Dylsfootyramble: How the fuck was this ever allowed to happen man?

@BeckiBluebird: Why did that pilot fly that plane when he had concerns about it himself? Makes me so angry

@CW9_MCFC: Heartbreaking stuff. I’ll never understand why if you had such reservations about the standard of the aircraft (especially as a qualified pilot) you’d still choose to operate it? It’s disgusting that they were ever in such a position.

@DanCooper9: Jeeez, this is harrowing

@kendallrowanx: That plane should’ve never taken off. Ever. This is absolutely horrendous

@Haywaphi17: If a pilot and a passenger can see how awful the aircraft is. How on earth was it allowed to take off! So sad this 😔

@LMnufc87: This very chilling to see, why on earth did they both get on that plane ffs, I can barely get on modern planes without complaining about something let a know a plane that looks like it is falling apart!!

@LukeBranson4: Crazy hair raising stuff this, mental how they both seemed to know their fate on that plane 😨

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