North Lincolnshire

Body found in channel plane wreckage search

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A body has been found by under water search teams investigating the wreckage of the plane that carried footballer Emiliano Sala and Lincolnshire pilot David Ibbotson.

The wreckage of the plane was discovered on February 3 after a privately-funded sonar search and collaboration between the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.

The Piper Malibu N264DB was found in the English Channel near to Guernsby.

The AAIB said in a statement: “Early in the search, the Morven identified an object of interest on the seabed using its side-scan sonar equipment.

The wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and flown by David Ibbotson has been found

“It cleared the immediate area for the Geo Ocean III to use its underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to survey the area of the seabed in which the object was located.

“Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, registration N264DB.

“The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage.

“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage.

“The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.

“The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration.

“We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.”