Wife of tragic Emiliano Sala plane crash pilot hopes new evidence clears husband’s name

Sala and Ibbotson crashed in January while travelling from Nantes in France to Cardiff.

Sala had recently joined Cardiff City and had been travelling back to the Welsh capital.

The plane crashed in the English Channel and new toxicology tests on Sala’s body showed carbon monoxide levels in his blood were so great it could have caused a seizure, unconsciousness or a heart attack.

Ibbotson’s body has not been found but his wife Nora hopes that the new evidence can prove her husband did nothing wrong.

“It is a relief because there was a problem and it was out of David’s control,” Nora Ibbotson told Good Morning Britain.

“They couldn’t smell it, couldn’t see it. If he knew, he wouldn’t have flown it.

“We have to stay strong and positive because we want the results for Dave.

“That’s the hardest thing, not having David back. Every day, it is hard, because I haven’t got David, I haven’t got a body.”

Sala and Ibbotson were flying in a Piper Malibu aircraft. It’s a plane that can produce high levels of carbon monoxide.

The gas is normally conveyed away through the exhaust system, however poor sealing or leaks can enable it to enter the cabin.

A device to alert pilots over the presence of carbon monoxide is not mandatory.

Retired pilot and aviation safety commentator Terry Tozer said: “It shows you can never tell what the root cause of an accident is until the investigators have dug into the nitty gritty.

“How and why did the carbon monoxide get in? Presumably through the exhaust system… the fumes get into the ventilation system.

“It’s not like a car where you can open the windows. It can creep up on you, and that could be a slow process.

“It’s odourless so you wouldn’t necessarily know you were being fed these fumes unless you had a detection system – but that isn’t mandatory for this type of aircraft.”

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