Emiliano Sala’s family welcomed the man’s conviction that the destructive flight leading to his death had been organised – but they still have unanswered questions.
David Henderson, 67, was convicted by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday of a majority verdict of 10 to two for the player’s death.
The plane carrying 28-year-old Sala crashed into the English Channel on the evening of January 21, 2019, killing striker and pilot David Ibotson (59).
It took seven and a half hours for the jury of seven men and five women to convict the plane’s operator Henderson, who was heard in the trial arranging a flight with football agent William ‘Willie’ Mack.
“The actions of David Henderson are only one piece in the puzzle of how the plane David Ibbotson was illegally flying came to crash into the sea on 21 January 2019.
“We still do not know the key information about the maintenance history of the aircraft and all the factors behind the carbon monoxide poisoning revealed in August 2019 by AAIB.
“The answers to these questions can only be properly established at Emiliano’s inquest, which is due to start in February next year.
“The Sala family fervently hope that everyone involved in the inquest will provide full disclosure of material without further delay, including Piper Aircraft Inc and the AAIB. This should ensure that the inquest can fulfil its function of fully and fearlessly examining the evidence so that all the facts emerge.
“Only if that happens will Emiliano’s family finally know the truth about this tragedy enabling all the lessons to be learned, so that no family goes through a similar preventable death.”