Believe it or not plane travel is one of the safest modes of transport in the world. In figures released by the National Safety Council, only 40 US planes crashed in the whole of 2020 of which only 5 were fatal. So its a safe bet that if you want to make it to your destination, plane travel is the way to go. So whenever a plane crashes it kind of makes worldwide news. Emiliano Sala’s death from a plane crash sent shockwaves through the soccer and sporting world because of this freakish nature of aviation accidents. Sala was an Argentine soccer player who had just secured a move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City a Welsh club who then played in the English Premier League. The Club chartered a private plane named the Piper PA46-Malibu a light aircraft to take him across the English Channel. The plane disappeared from radar and communications when it passed north of an English Channel island called Guernsey. Sala’s body was discovered along with the wreckage. The plane’s other passenger was the pilot Dave Ibbotson whose body was never found. This is the first bit of eye opening controversy. Number one, Dave was not the pilot originally meant to take Sala.
A guy named David Henderson was the GUY who was meant to do that. If you thought Ibbotson was competent to fly a plane think again. He was neither licensed to fly or qualified to fly at night. I know this is NOT COOL isn’t it. Having had a look at how businesses are run, there is a rule in retail that goes by this. YOU NEVER EVER TURN AWAY A CUSTOMER AND MONEY. Even if you are the guy on your death bed you never do that, you find an able replacement. In Risk Management its called a Business Continuity or Resilience Plan. Henderson took this plan to unnecessary and dangerous extremes and probably didn’t have such a plan in place.
This is not to say he is guilty as the case is still before the courts, but if what is being reported is true he has a lot to answer. The second thing that really bothers me a lot about this accident is the fact that Ibbotson’s body was never found. The cause of death for Sala was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning as dangerous amounts of the gas was found in his body AND ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL the pilot’s body should have been in and about the same place as Sala’s. Could it be that the pilot ejected before the plane went down? Now from past accidents involving the same plane, like one crash in Florida in 2009, a pilot called Marcus Schrenker bailed from the plane as it went down in Milton, Florida. Luckily he was alone in the plane. Apparently he wanted to dodge a securities fraud rap by faking a death by plane. So it is VERY MUCH possible to bail from that sort of plane before it crashes. Lastly, soccer clubs need to take ownership of their prized assets, the PLAYERS, and make sure when they travel on club business they use the safest and most efficient means of transportation. In a sad twist , Emiliano’s dad Horacio died just 3 months after , some say the grief was too much for the poor guy.