Warning to IoD members concerning the dangers of unauthorised flights

Emiliano Sala was an international professional footballer. On the 21st January 2019 Emiliano was a passenger in a single piston engine aircraft flight from Nantes in France to Cardiff in Wales when it crashed into the sea leading to his death.

The Coroner’s investigation has determined that this flight was an illegal flight due to the fact that it was a commercial flight without the required authorisations, certification or permission.

It was also revealed that there is a market in the illegal provision of flights for reward on private aircraft or flown by pilots without an Air Operators Certificate. Evidence was given to the Coroner that this market particularly exists in the world of sport and music. These flights do not meet the minimum safety standards for commercial operations and evidence was given this could lead to future aircraft crashes and subsequently, future deaths.

The Civil Aviation Authority has asked the IoD to publicise the risks associated with unauthorised flights amongst its membership. It is essential to raise awareness of this issue amongst IoD members and the general public in order to stop these illegal flights and therefore prevent future deaths.

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