Sala Crash: Flight organiser jailed

Piper Malibu N264DB was owned by Fay Keely's family trust (Image: AAIB)
Piper Malibu N264DB was owned by Fay Keely's family trust (Image: AAIB)

The organiser of the flight that killed Emiliano Sala has been jailed for 18 months at Cardiff Crown Court.

David Henderson 67, of Hotham, East Riding of Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to trying to arrange an unauthorised flight and was also found guilty of recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft last month.

Cardiff City star signing Emiliano Sala and Pilot David Ibbotson died when the plane they were travelling in crashed near the Channel Islands in January 2019.

It later transpired that Ibbotson was not qualified or experienced enough to carry out the flight and despite knowing that, Henderson hired him anyway.

Wreckage of N264DB
Wreckage of N264DB (Image: AAIB)

Sentencing Henderson to 18 months in prison, Justice Foxton said that he had shown “a cavalier attitude” in organising the flight and the safety of its passenger.

He said that Henderson had intentionally breached regulations purely for profit and was “reckless, not negligent”.

During the trial, the jury heard that the aircraft’s owners had specifically told Henderson that David Ibbotson was not allowed to fly the aircraft but this did not stop Henderson from hiring the unqualified pilot ultimately resulting in Emiliano Sala’s death.

About Nick Harding 1470 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

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