Emiliano Sala’s pilot told a friend the plane was ‘dodgy’, new recording reveals
“I got a footballer from Cardiff. He’s just been bought from Nantes for, I think, around £20m or something,” he said in a voicemail to friend Kevin Jones. .
“They tasked me with picking him up on a dodgy (plane).
“Normally I have my life jacket between my seats but tomorrow I’m wearing my life jacket for sure,” he added.
Mr Ibbotson, whose body was never found, was only an amateur pilot and was not licensed to carry passengers or fly at night.
He told Mr Jones before leaving Nantes that he had heard “a bang” during the outbound flight.
“I’m in the middle of the Channel and ‘bang’,” the pilot said in the recording.
“I fly and then ‘boom’. I thought, ‘what’s wrong?’ So I put it all out there and checked my settings, everything was fine and it was still flying, but it caught your eye.”
He said, “That Malibu, once in a while, you get like a haze once in a while. You can feel it, way, way down in the whole cell.”
‘This plane needs to go back into the hangar,’ he added to Mr Jones, after realizing the plane’s left brake pedal was not working when it landed at Nantes airport Atlantic.
Pilot and businessman David Henderson (below), 67, managed the single-engine plane on behalf of its owner and arranged the flights, pilots and maintenance, although he was not the legally registered operator.