Police take no further action against York pilot arrested over plane crash death of Emiliano Sala

Emiliano Sala
11 Mar 2020 @ 2.14 pm
| News

No further action will be taken against a man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in relation to the plane crash that killed footballer Emiliano Sala, police said.

Dorset Police have ended their investigation of 64-year-old pilot David Henderson, who was arrested on June 19 last year.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said:

  • We have carried out a detailed examination into the circumstances of Mr Sala’s death, this has been a complex investigation involving the examination of a large amount of evidence and in liaison with a range of organisations.

    We have worked closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) during our investigation and we are now able to confirm that Dorset Police will not be seeking a formal charging decision by the CPS in relation to homicide offences.


David Henderson, pictured in a BBC film

Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala, 28, was flying from Nantes in France to his new club Cardiff City when the Piper Malibu aircraft plunged into the Channel on January 21 last year.

His body was recovered but pilot David Ibbotson, 59, has not been found.

It was said that Mr Henderson had arranged for Mr Ibbotson to take Mr Sala on the return trip from France.

An interim report published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch shortly after the accident stated that Mr Ibbotson was not licensed to conduct commercial flights.

Detective Inspector Huxter added: “An investigation into the operation of the flight continues and this is being led by the CAA and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this time.

“We have updated the family of Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson with regard to this development and it goes without saying that our thoughts remain with them, as a result of their unimaginable loss.”