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Flight organiser convicted over Emiliano Sala, pilot deaths

Flight organiser convicted over Sala, pilot deaths
© Reuters
David Henderson, who organised the flight which saw Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson killed in a plane crash, has been found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

David Henderson, who organised the flight which saw Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson killed in a plane crash, has been found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Sala, who was leaving Nantes to sign for Cardiff City, and pilot Ibbotson died when the plane they were travelling in crashed into the English Channel in January 2019.

In the weeks after the crash, it was alleged that a number of regulations had not been followed, including the use of a pilot who did not hold the required licence to fly a plane for commercial reasons.

After a trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Henderson was found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft, while it emerged in court that he had asked a number of people to 'stay quiet' when learning about the crash.

On behalf of Sala's family, Daniel Machover, of Hickman & Rose solicitors, said: "Mr Henderson's convictions are welcome and we hope the CAA will ensure that illegal flights of this kind are stopped.

"The actions of David Henderson are only one piece in the puzzle of how the plane David Ibbotson was illegally flying came to crash into the sea on January 21, 2019.

"We still do not know the key information about the maintenance history of the aircraft and all the factors behind the carbon monoxide poisoning revealed in August 2019 by AAIB.

"The answers to these questions can only be properly established at Emiliano's inquest, which is due to start in February next year."

Henderson is due to be sentenced at a further hearing which will be held on November 12.

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Emiliano Sala in action for Nantes in late 2017
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