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David Ibbotson did not hold the required licence to fly Emiliano Sala on the night of his disappearance

BBC Wales have learnt that missing pilot from the Emiliano Sala plane crash tragedy did not have the required licence to fly the plane at night.

28-year-old Nantes & Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala died when the plane carrying him to Cardiff from Nantes in the final hours of the 21st of January.

Although the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has refused to comment, regulatory authorities have confirmed to the media outlet that Ibbotson did not hold a “night rating” and that his licence restricted him to “flights by day only”.

Ibbotson is also understood to have been colour blind and an aviation source has told the media outlet in question that an ability to differentiate between green and red lights is “key” to flying in the dark.

Ibbotson therefore committed a crime when he flew outside of the restrictions of his licence.

The plane was due to leave at 09:00 in the morning from Nantes on the 21st January, but Sala’s departure was delayed at the player’s request until 19:00 so that he could spend the day with his friends at FC Nantes.

On top of these revelations, it has emerged that Ibbotson was not legally allowed to carry passengers in exchange for financial benefit per his private pilot status.

The full report on this tragedy is expected in early 2020 from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).


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