Emiliano Sala’s family has tore into the ‘unacceptable’ delays to the inquest into the footballer’s death.
The 28-year-old Argentinian was killed in a plane crash north of Guernsey on January 21, 2019 as he prepared to start life with Cardiff City after leaving Nantes in a multimillion pound transfer.
His body was recovered the following month, but the body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been found.
A coroner’s inquest has still not been held because the Civil Aviation Authority is still investigating.
Emiliano Sala was killed in a plane crash north of Guernsey on January 21, 2019 as he prepared to start life with Cardiff City after leaving Nantes in a multimillion pound transfer
The body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been found
But the striker’s distraught family condemned the delay and are piling on pressure to accelerate the investigation towards its conclusion.
Matthew Reeve, representing the family, told a pre-inquest review held at Bournemouth, that they were unhappy at the delays caused by the CAA investigation, which he suggested had only begun following the conclusion of inquiries by the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
He said: ‘The delay is, frankly, unacceptable. Emiliano’s family have instructed me that they dearly and earnestly wish for the earliest possible hearing date.’
Mr Ibbotson’s wife, Nora, added: ‘The CAA have had quite long enough time to get their information together from what they have got from the police and AAIB.’
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police, confirmed that no charges would be brought by the police in the UK in relation to the accident.
The force previously announced that a 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire, who had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, will face no further action.
The single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft which was carrying Sala to the UK
A final report by the AAIB released last week concluded that the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft suffered an in-flight break-up while being flown too fast for its design limits (debris pictured)
A final report by the AAIB released last week concluded that the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft suffered an in-flight break-up while being flown too fast for its design limits.
It added that Mr Ibbotson was probably affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Investigators found that a contributory factor in the crash was Mr Ibbotson having no training in night flying, and a lack of recent practice in relying only on cockpit instruments to control a plane.
And they found that he held a private pilot’s licence that did not allow him to conduct flights for reward.
Mr Ibbotson’s wife, Nora, said: ‘The CAA have had quite long enough time to get their information together from what they have got from the police and AAIB’
Charles Curtis, representing the Civil Aviation Authority, said its investigation was still ongoing and it would consider criminal regulatory charges at its conclusion, which could take until the end of the year, but confirmed it was not looking at ‘homicide or murder’ offences.
He said: ‘I hope there hasn’t been a misunderstanding that the CAA is only starting its investigation now. We now have primacy.’
Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin set further review hearings on June 2, August 28, November 6 and January 8, with a full jury inquest to start on March 8, 2021.
She said: ‘Unfortunately we are in a difficult situation because there are ongoing investigations, namely by the CAA, that are very relevant to my investigation and the inquest process.
‘I would ask the CAA to work as quickly as possible, for the impact on Emiliano’s family and Mr Ibbotson’s family.’