The mystery owners of the offshore-registered plane in which Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala died have been identified to investigators, a trustee firm for the aircraft has insisted.
Southern Aircraft Consultancy (SAC), a British-based company which arranged the paperwork for the single-engined Piper Malibu plane, issued a statement to deny claims that information had been withheld from authorities.
Sala, whose body was recovered from plane wreckage last week, died from “head and trunk injuries”, an inquest heard on Monday. The pilot, David Ibbotson, is still missing but his family said they will never give up hope of finding him. Mr Ibbotson’s daughter, Danielle, told Good Morning Britain: “If you’ve got hope then you shouldn’t give up.”
Cardiff are among a number of parties eager to establish who owns the aircraft as part of investigations to establish who is financially liable. The Welsh club appear legally obliged to pay Nantes a record club fee of £15 million. Relations between the club have been soured by a legal demands for payment from Nantes. James Earl, a partner at Fladgate LLP, told The Telegraph: “There may well be no legal justification to avoid paying the first instalment.”
SAC has repeatedly refused to publicly name the owner of the plane, but clarified on Monday night that the Air Accidents Investigations Branch has been informed. The AAIB is due to publish an interim report on the crash within the next fortnight.