Emiliano Sala died from 'head and trunk injuries' - post-mortem

Monday 11th February 2019 16:45 GMT

The results of a post-mortem examination were revealed at an inquest into his death, which was opened and adjourned until 6 November at Dorset Coroner's Court.

Senior coroner's officer Ian Parry confirmed Sala was pronounced dead at Portland on 7 February and was formally identified by fingerprints.

An inquiry by the Air Accident Investigations Branch could take between six months and a year.

Sala, 28, had just signed for Cardiff City from Nantes in a record £15m transfer deal and was on his way to the Welsh capital when the Piper Malibu aircraft he was travelling in disappeared over the Channel.

The Argentine forward's body was recovered following a privately funded search, launched with funds raised by public donations after the official search was called off three days after the men and their plane went missing.

It comes as the family of pilot David Ibbotson say they "just want him home" - after more than £150,000 was raised in two days for a new search.

Mr Ibbotson's wife Nora told Good Morning Britain: "We do know he's gone - but we want him back... We just want him home.

"We feel like he's just out there on his own at the moment. This is why we've done the appeal - just for some help."

The body of Mr Ibbotson has not been found and Danielle, the pilot's daughter, told the programme the family "literally don't know where we can go from here".

She said they hoped a diver would be able to check the wreckage again, as well as launching a potential search of coastal areas in case her father's body washes up.

"I know that it might take a long time but I don't want this just to be it," she added.

Mr Ibbotson's wife also said she wanted the wreckage checked again so she could have peace of mind.

France striker Kylian Mbappe is among those who have donated to the fund for a new search, pledging £27,000.

Former England and Tottenham player Gary Lineker has also given £1,000.

The fund has passed the halfway point of its £300,000 target after just two days.

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Nora Ibbotson also played down a joke her husband made on social media about being "a bit rusty" in his flying.

She said: "That's just Dave. It's like when you go on holiday for two or three weeks and get in your car, you haven't driven for a few days and think 'ooh' - that was just Dave."

Mr Ibbotson's main job was as a gas engineer and he flew as a hobby, but his family insist he was properly licensed to carry passengers.

His wife also told Good Morning Britain about her phone call with him shortly before the flight.

She said: "I rung him in the afternoon - half past two - he was making his way back to the aircraft, just waiting for time.

"He says, 'I'll be back late on.' I said, 'I'll leave the key out the door and I'll leave the porch light on.'"

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