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Ex-pilot of Sala’s plane: “I can’t believe it was a mechanical fault”
12 February 2019 @ 13:37

A FORMER pilot of the aircraft which crashed in the Channel killing Cardiff FC player Emiliano Sala says he does not believe the tragedy was caused by a mechanical fault.

Eduardo Hernández Vidaurreta, 65, from the province of Burgos (Castilla y León) was captain of the Piper PA-46 Malibu registration number N264DB between 2012 and 2015, which he described as ‘a marvel’ to fly.

“I’d be very surprised to hear that the accident was caused by a mechanical fault,” says Hernández Vidaurreta.

A commercial pilot in Spain since 1976 and with a US flying licence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1989, Eduardo says the Piper Malibu was built in 1984 and was ‘used a lot’ at the flying school in Florida which it belonged to before it was brought to Spain seven years ago by one of Hernández’s friends, Roberto Sastre, who had bought it on the spur of the moment for around €500,000.

Hernández became Sastre’s ‘air chauffeur’, but only for recreational purposes, not as a job – mostly for weekends away nationally.

The plane clocked up fewer than 50 flying hours a year in the four years Sastre owned it and Hernández flew it, and ‘never gave him any problems’, said the latter.



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