Following the discovery of the plane carrying Argentine football player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on Sunday, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued a press release midday Monday reporting that “in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage” of the fuselage identified on the seabed.
The AAIB is looking into what steps to take next, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.
Over the course of the month following the accident, which occurred on 21 January, the independent body will issue a provisional report.
Information regarding the discovery of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala Monday 4 February 2019. 10am:
The missing Piper Malibu (registration N264DB) that had been carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson was identified yesterday in international waters, the AAIB confirmed.
At the start of the search, which began on Sunday, the vessel FPV Morven, commissioned by private company Blue Water Recoveries Ltd, identified an object on the sea floor using its side-scan sonar. It surveyed the immediate surroundings, enabling Geo Ocean III to film the object via its remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV).
The AAIB search crew and UK government specialists with marine experience are currently studying the recording in detail in order to add valuable information to the investigation.
The search was carried out with the support of authorities from Guernsey, France and the United Kingdom and was coordinated with the private company Blue Water Recoveries Ltd. The aim was to confirm where the aircraft struck the water in relation to its last known position in the air. In order to do this, aboard the vessel were Ministry of Defense officials to contribute with their experience to that of the AAIB inspectors.
The Argentine government would like to thank the British government for its cooperation in locating the aircraft and calls on the British authorities involved to continue their efforts to determine the cause of the accident. The Embassy of Argentina remains entirely at the disposal of the British authorities to help in this regard.
We would like to reiterate our solidarity with and support for the relatives of Emiliano. We will continue to stand by them in the UK just as we have done since their arrival in Cardiff.