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Aviation expert: "Crossing the Channel at night in bad weather is crazy"

Darren Cleary
Darren Cleary

10:30 23 Jan 2019


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An aviation expert labelled the decision to cross the English Channel on a light aircraft in wintry conditions as “crazy”.

Rescue workers have resumed their search for a plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.

His light aircraft disappeared over the English Channel on Monday night, after leaving Nantes in France.

A search yesterday turned up a number of floating objects but no trace of those on board.

Aeronautical consultant Jorge Polanco is quoted by Marca as saying: "Crossing the Channel at night in bad weather, with a single engine, is crazy.

The Channel Island Air Search believe the aircraft broke up after crashing in the Channel.

"Someone let this kid do something crazy and it most likely cost him his life.

"The truth is that it seems nonsense, but despite that, I think there is someone who did not advise the player well in that regard.

"It's like flying in Antarctica in the winter with an airplane of that size, which can suffer from what is called icing, thus stopping the engine and I think something related to that has happened.

"I don't understand who let it take off and I'm surprised they did something like this."

Sala signed for the Premier League club last weekend, the Welsh side paid a record €17million fee to French side Nantes. He was aboard the light aircraft travelling from the city having returned to bid farewell to his former teammates. Contact was lost over the English channel.

Chief officer of the Channel Island Air Search, John Fitzgerald warned that the chances of finding Sala and the pilot alive are slim: “With the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time”

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