Report into cause of Sala plane crash to be released on Monday

A preliminary report into the plane crash which killed footballer Emiliano Sala will be published next week.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch will publish its initial findings at 2pm on Monday.

The remit of the AAIB, which is a branch of the Department for Transport, is to conduct safety investigations into the cause of aviation accidents without apportioning blame or liability.

Wreckage of the plane crash in the Channel (AAIB/PA)
Wreckage of the plane crash in the Channel (AAIB/PA)

Argentine footballer Sala had just signed for Cardiff City from French club Nantes for £15 million when the plane crashed into the Channel on January 21.

He was the only passenger on board the Piper Malibu aircraft flying from Nantes to the Welsh capital.

His body was recovered on February 6 but pilot David Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been located.

Mr Ibbotson’s family hope a fresh search for his body will begin next week after setting up an online fundraising campaign which has reached £250,000.

The aircraft remains underwater off the coast of Guernsey after an attempt to recover it was hampered by bad weather.