Two weeks ago, the small plane with the professional Argentine footballer on board had disappeared from the radar over the English Channel. Now the wreck of the propeller machine has been found.

The small plane that Emiliano Sala crashed across the English Channel on January 21st has been discovered. This was announced by the UK Aviation Accident Investigation Authority (AAIB). “I can confirm that it was found,” said an AAIB spokeswoman.

The head of the private search company Blue Water Recoveries, David Mearns, wrote on Twitter that the plane wreck had been located on Sunday morning.  

There is a “large amount of wreckage on the ocean floor,” Mearns said. Sala’s family had hired Blue Water Recoveries to find the missing plane. Sala’s father was shocked to hear that the machine had been found. “I can’t believe this is a nightmare,” Horacio Sala told an Argentine television station.

“I’m so afraid”

The single-engine “Piper PA-46 Malibu” with the Argentine professional footballer and a British pilot (59) onboard had disappeared from the radar on the flight from Nantes in France to Cardiff in Great Britain around 20 kilometers north of the channel island of Guernsey. Sala had recently voiced his fear of an impending crash. “I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart,” the 28-year-old told friends and relatives on WhatsApp. And further: “If you don’t hear from me in an hour and a half: I don’t know if they send someone, they won’t find me anyway. Papa, I’m so scared.”

A day-long search with helicopters and ships was unsuccessful and was then discontinued. Last Wednesday, two-seat cushions were washed up on the northern French coast, which is said to belong to the missing plane. Finally, the search for the missing was continued underwater using special equipment.

Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Mourning Sala (Reuters / Action Images)Mourning for Emiliano Sala in front of the Cardiff City stadium

Emiliano Sala wanted to switch from French first division club FC Nantes to the English Premier League at Cardiff City in Wales – for a transfer fee of around 17 million euros.


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