Yesterday evening, a Piper Malibu (N264DB) carrying two passengers disappeared from radar over the English Channel. The aircraft left Nantes Airport for Cardiff. Rescue operations have been underway during the night. French authorities announced that 28-year-old football professional Emiliano Sala, who just signed a three-and-a-half year contract at Cardiff City Football Club, was one of the passengers on board.
Emiliano Sala rented the private aircraft to greet his former football colleagues and staff at Nantes FC, before returning to Cardiff to join his new club.
AAIB investigation into the loss of aircraft N264DB
On Monday night, a US-registered Piper PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft (registration N264DB) was lost from radar north of Guernsey. The aircraft was en route from Nantes, France to Cardiff, United Kingdom, with one pilot and one passenger on board.
In accordance with international protocols, the AAIB is investigating the loss of the aircraft. Since Tuesday morning, we have been working closely with international authorities including the US National Transportation Safety Board, the Bureau d’Enquêtes & d’Analyses (BEA) in France and the Junta de Investigación de Accidentes de Aviación Civil (JIACC) in Argentina.
We will be gathering all the available evidence to conduct a thorough investigation. However, if the aircraft is not found it is likely to limit the scope of the investigation.
According to reports in media a Piper Malibu, yesterday evening, disapperad from radar over the English Channel.
We have checked playback and can’t any traces of this flight.
It was either flying too low to be tracked or had a very old transponder.https://t.co/MLZ3FBOcgY
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 22, 2019