David Henderson who organized the private jet that flew late Emiliano Sala, from France to England has been found guilty for the death of the footballer.
Henderson was the owner and operator of the American jet which had a single-engine. Emiliano Sala’s former football agent William “Willie” McKay contacted him to fly Sala to England in 2019 after he sealed a deal with Cardiff City.
Then, Emiliano Sala was still playing for French side Nantes where he was between 2015 and 2019. He scored over 42 goals for the French club in 120 games before Cardiff City decided to buy him.
When agent Willie contacted David Henderson to fly the footballer from Nantes to Cardiff in the evening of January 2019, the pilot was away in Paris with his wife.
Instead of turning down the offer, the 67-year-old businessman decided to contact David Ibbotson who regularly worked for the businessman whenever he was away.
Unfortunately for the footballer, David Ibbotson did not have a commercial pilot’s license. He was not also qualified to fly a plane at night. More so, his rating to fly the aircraft had expired.
Yet, the 59-year-old pilot went ahead and flew the 28-year-old footballer to England. Unfortunately for them, the plane crashed before they could get to their destination.
After the crash, it took both private and public search teams three days to find the crash site. The dead bodies of Emiliano Sala and pilot Ibbotson were discovered a day later.
Initially, when David Henderson heard what happened, he texted the handful of people who heard about the accident to keep quiet about it.
Yet the news went viral and drew the attention of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The authority sued the businessman for endangering the safety of the aircraft.
In one of his testimonies at Cardiff Crown Court in England, the businessman revealed that he tried to suppress the story because he feared an investigation into his business arrangements.
After a trial at Cardiff Crown Court, the jury began deliberations on the case on Wednesday morning, October 27, and found the 67-year-old businessman guilty on Thursday morning, October 28.
Henderson will receive his sentence on November 12, 2021.
Aside from endangering the aircraft that crashed with Emiliano Sala on board, Henderson has pleaded guilty to arranging a flight for a passenger without valid permission or authorization.