North Lincolnshire

David Ibbotson and Emiliano Sala plane wreckage found

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The wreckage of a plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and Lincolnshire pilot David Ibbotson has been found in the English channel.

The Cardiff City player, 28, and pilot, 59, disappeared on January 21 after leaving Nantes in France.

An intense search and investigation was called off after four days. Objects were found in the water but could not be verified at the time.

Search director David Mearns confirmed the remains of the Piper Malibu N264DB had been discovered after a sonar mission on Sunday, near Guernsey.

Mearns, a marine scientist, directed the privately-funded operation on behalf of the Sala family. A campaign to re-launch the search raised more than £26,000 to make it possible.

The private search has been wrapped up and the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is at the site and working to recover the plane.

David Mearns said on social media: The families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson have been notified by police.

“Our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David.”

Sala was due to start training at Cardiff, were he had been newly signed in a £15 million deal last month.

Pilot David, from Crowle in North Lincolnshire, was shuttling the player from Nantes when air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight.

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