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30 Mar, 2019 12:36

Emiliano Sala crash pilot Dave Ibbotson 'was color blind, unlicensed to fly at night' – reports

Emiliano Sala crash pilot Dave Ibbotson 'was color blind, unlicensed to fly at night' – reports

The legality of the tragic flight which crashed killing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been further called into question by reports in the UK.

A BBC Wales report states that the pilot, Ibbotson, was believed to be color-blind and carried a restricted pilot's license that permitted him to fly during daytime hours only.

Authorities confirmed to the BBC that Ibbotson, who also died in the crash, did not hold a "night rating" on his UK private pilot's license.

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And unnamed sources told the BBC that Ibbotson's license permitted him to take "flights by day only."

In addition to his UK pilot's license, Ibbotson also carried a US license, with the limitations and restrictions imposed by the UK license also applying to his US license.


"Anything that's on the UK license applies to the US license as well, so he couldn't do anything more than the UK license allows," said an aviation source.

"Flying outside the restrictions of your license is illegal and that's likely to affect the insurance cover for the flight."

Night is defined by European aviation rules as being "the time from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise."

Also on rt.com Pilot 'did not completely lose control' of Sala plane, aviation expert suggests

Ibbotson's Piper Malibu plane did not taxi to the runway to take off until just after 7pm in Nantes, around an hour and 10 minutes after sunset.

There had previously been questions over the legality of the flight with regard to the US registration of the aircraft, and whether a private pilot could carry passengers for remuneration.


A report stated Ibbotson would only have been legally able to fly passengers on a cost-sharing basis. But football agent Willie McKay stated in February that he commissioned the journey and his family paid for the flight.

Regulations state that the pilot and passenger must have a "common purpose" for taking the flight, and the flight "must not be made for the purpose of merely transporting the passenger."

Official clarification on Ibbotson's licensure status has not yet been made, with authorities currently investigating the situation.

A full official report is not expected to be completed and released until 2020.