UK Court Told Man Accused Over Footballer Sala's Plane Crash Not 'reckless'
Zeeshan Mehtab 1 month ago Wed 27th October 2021 | 12:05 AM
The lawyer defending a man on trial over the 2019 plane crash that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala said on Tuesday his involvement in the tragedy was "purely a paperwork issue".
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Oct, 2021 ) :The lawyer defending a man on trial over the 2019 plane crash that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala said on Tuesday his involvement in the tragedy was "purely a paperwork issue".
He has pleaded guilty to a separate charge of attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation.
Although Ibbotson was an experienced pilot with thousands of hours flying, according to Henderson, he did not have an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) authorising him to be paid for trips.
Henderson was the operator of the plane, responsible for its maintenance and renting it out on behalf of the owner and had arranged the ill-fated flight.
His lawyer Stephen Spence conceded on Tuesday his client had not followed regulations but insisted that in itself had not led to a real risk of danger and that he had not been reckless.
"While the AOC is a magic piece of paper that allows you to charge people, it has very little to do with danger or no danger," he said.
"It's a matter of law that the responsibility for the safe conduct of a flight is vested with the pilot," Spence added.
He urged the jury to treat his client fairly.
"He's 67 years old, a family man, father, grandfather, married over 30 years, former RAF officer, businessman, pilot with over 11,000 flying hours. In many respects, he is like any one of you." A British air accident investigation report published in March last year concluded Ibbotson was not licensed to fly the plane or to fly at night.
Sala's body was recovered from the seabed the following month but that of Ibbotson was never found.