Sean NevinESPN UK
The wreckage of the plane that went missing while carrying Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been found on the seabed of the English Channel, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigations Branch [AAIB] has confirmed to ESPN.
The Piper Malibu aircraft went missing on Jan. 21 after disappearing from air traffic control’s radar while flying over the English Channel on the way to Cardiff, Wales.
Sala had just completed a £15 million transfer to Cardiff City from French Ligue 1 side Nantes and had been due to train with his new teammates the next day.
An initial search for the aircraft had been called off after three days with investigators unable to locate any sign of the aircraft, leading to the family of the Argentine footballer to launch a crowdfunding page to finance a private search.
After the goal was met, the private search began on Sunday, led by marine scientist David Mearns working in tandem with the AAIB.
The families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson have been notified by Police. The AAIB will be making a statement tomorrow. Tonight our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David. #EmilianoSalas #NoDejenDeBuscarAEmilianoSala
— David Mearns (@davidlmearns) February 3, 2019
Cushions, which were believed to be from the plane, were located on a beach near Surtainville in north-western France by a walker on Monday.
A search boat located the plane this morning after underwater searches were commenced. The wreckage has since been identified as coming from the missing plane.
The families of Sala and Ibbotson have both been informed of the discovery.