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-   -   Cardiff City Footballer Feared Missing after aircraft disappeared near Channel Island (https://www.pprune.org/accidents-close-calls/617514-cardiff-city-footballer-feared-missing-after-aircraft-disappeared-near-channel-island.html)

wrecker 22nd Jan 2019 07:50

Missing over the Channel
BBC reporting Piper Malibu in bound to EGFF missing over the English Channel.

pasir 22nd Jan 2019 09:00

Single engine at night over sea.
As we await further details on this event lets hope the outcome for the two persons on board will result in success and survival. However it does bring up the old controversy of how wise or urgent would it be to undergo a longish flight over water at night in a single engine a/c.

mark25787 22nd Jan 2019 09:26

Press speculation is that the new signing for Cardiff City, Emiliano Sala, was one of the two persons aboard the aircraft.

Jetstream67 22nd Jan 2019 09:30

callum_62 22nd Jan 2019 09:56

The report I read said they were at 5000 requesting descent and radar contact lost at 2300 feet - surely thats not right?


manrow 22nd Jan 2019 10:33

Cardiff City Footballer Feared Missing after aircraft disappeared near Channel Island

Jed A1 22nd Jan 2019 11:03

From Guernsey Police
Aircraft Search: 10.20am update.

There are currently two helicopters, two planes and one lifeboat searching.

Aircraft Search: 8.45am update

Guernsey Coastguard received an alert at 20:23 from Jersey ATC, that a light aircraft had gone off their radar approximately 15 miles north of Guernsey, initiating a major search and rescue operation involving both St Peter Port and Alderney lifeboats. Air Search 1 and 2 HM Coastguard helicopters are also involved in the search.

The PA 46 Malibu, a single turbine engine aircraft was on route from Nantes in France, to Cardiff in Wales, with two people on board when it was lost off radar as Jersey ATC was attempting to make contact.

A search model was created on SARIS, based on the likely ditching position, and all search and rescue assets were tasked to the area.

The search was terminated at 02:00, with all search and rescue assets being stood down, due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility.

At this time no trace of the missing aircraft had been found.

The aircraft departed Nantes at 1915 for Cardiff. The aircraft was flying at 5000 feet. The aircraft on passing Guernsey requested descent. Jersey ATC lost contact whilst it was flying at 2300 feet.

Air Search 1 and a French rescue helicopter based in Cherbourg, resumed the search of the area at 08:00.

V12 22nd Jan 2019 11:07

My understanding is the PA42 was made in both pressurised and unpressurised cabin versions, and piston and turbine single engine variants. Does anyone know for sure which config this one was?

Bowmore 22nd Jan 2019 11:33

Correct with the piston and turbine version, but they both are pressurised. No idea if this was turbine or piston. And it is PA-46, not 42 which is a Cheyenne III or Cheyenne 400.

anchorhold 22nd Jan 2019 12:07

The problem here is those with money who fly as pax do not have the risk mindset of many pilots. In this case single engine, single crew, over water, at night, no immersion suits, operating outside a organisational safety framework which is likely to be in place in larger organisation such as an airline or the military. Added to all this the pressure to get there by the wealthy client or operate in and out of less suitable airfields or landing areas., all of this we have seen before. It would be interesting to see the forecast for this route at 5000 feet, what were the icing conditions, and what icing conditions the aircraft type is cleared for under ' public transport'..

DaveReidUK 22nd Jan 2019 12:09

Originally Posted by Bowmore (Post 10367119)
Correct with the piston and turbine version, but they both are pressurised. No idea if this was turbine or piston.

Guernsey Police referred to the missing aircraft as "a single turbine aircraft", suggesting it's a P46T - either a Malibu Meridian or a DLX.

Slightly more accurate than the Daily Mirror's "private jet". :ugh:

lilflyboy262...2 22nd Jan 2019 12:19

We went into EGJB about an hour or so before this happened.
​​​​​​Was a bit of icing around from 3000-5000ft. Some random windshear around 2000-2500. But nothing untoward.
Cloud tops were overcast from about 5-6000ft
Weather certainly wasn't VFR.

I'm more inclined to ask why a single engine piston/turboprop was flying in the clouds at low level over the English Channel at night, in IMC, in winter.

Luc Lion 22nd Jan 2019 12:40

They were obviously flying VFR at such an altitude.
I wonder why ; I don't think there are many P46T without de-ice boots ...

MATELO 22nd Jan 2019 12:41

The aircraft departed Nantes at 1915 for Cardiff. The aircraft was flying at 5000 feet. The aircraft on passing Guernsey requested descent. Jersey ATC lost contact whilst it was flying at 2300 feet.

lilflyboy262...2 22nd Jan 2019 12:48

I don't get your point in linking me to this article.


vanHorck 22nd Jan 2019 12:49

Requesting a descent from 5000ft and contact lost at 2300 in a Malibu could suggest a non IFR qualified pilot? With the tops not much higher an IFR pilot would have first tried to outclimb any icing?

Runnerbean 22nd Jan 2019 12:51

Anyone have information re the registration yet?
I'm fervently hoping this wasn't a recent M-Class.

strake 22nd Jan 2019 13:01

FR24 has no record of the flight meaning 'too low or very old transponder'. As, apparently it had been flying at 5000ft earlier on the flight, one presumes it's either the latter reason, the transponder was u/s from Nantes or it just wasn't turned on.

Seems strange that anyone would allow a 'commercial' flight under such circumstances so I wonder if it was a mate doing a 'favour'?

MATELO 22nd Jan 2019 13:11


I wasn't linking you, I was replying to your post which advised of weather conditions. From the article quoted it give details of heights pertinent to the info you mentioned.
I supplied the link as some posters like to see where quotes come from.

Runnerbean 22nd Jan 2019 13:36

BBC contributor not helpful
Alistair Rosenschein who gave a (doubtless paid-for) opinion for today's World at One on BBC R4 clearly has little or no knowledge of GA - surely they could have found someone a bit better informed?

anchorhold 22nd Jan 2019 13:39

Luc Lion, why wouldn't you plan to fly at 5000ft unless there was icing in which case you could fly much lower across the channel?

Raffles S.A. 22nd Jan 2019 13:42

Metars from Cherbourg


LFRC 212000Z AUTO 19010KT 6000 FEW017 SCT150 BKN230 03/00 Q1017

LFRC 211930Z AUTO 18010KT 6000 FEW017 BKN047 03/00 Q1017

LFRC 211900Z AUTO 19010KT 9000 BKN020 BKN029 OVC035 04/M00 Q1018

LFRC 211830Z AUTO 20010KT 9000 SCT027 OVC035 04/M00 Q1019 NOSIG

anchorhold 22nd Jan 2019 13:50

Ah yes, Alistair R, seems to be the latest 'expert' these days after Learmount and Gleave.

DaveReidUK 22nd Jan 2019 13:59

To be fair, he's an ex-BA 747 pilot, so could reasonably be expected to know about that end of the business. It's not (entirely) his fault that the BBC doesn't understand how irrelevant that is to this event.

WindSheer 22nd Jan 2019 14:01

I find it difficult to believe that a non IFR pilot was flying this plane, given he/she would hold a commercial licence.

The request to decent was possibly due to icing and to drop out of the clouds to warmer air?

Does anyone know if mayday/7700 was declared? I doubt FR24 will show much?

Oldpilot55 22nd Jan 2019 14:05

Piston Malibu

skyfiend 22nd Jan 2019 14:15

Originally Posted by Bowmore (Post 10367119)
Correct with the piston and turbine version, but they both are pressurised. No idea if this was turbine or piston. And it is PA-46, not 42 which is a Cheyenne III or Cheyenne 400.

No, the Matrix variant is unpressurised.

vanHorck 22nd Jan 2019 14:35

Was the pilot confirmed to be commercial? Could be a friend taking him? Even if it was a Matrix, they could have easily climbed to 8000 or 9000?

meleagertoo 22nd Jan 2019 14:46

Any idea if the aircraft was G reg or something else?
With a freezing level at about 3000ft and intermittent precipitation they'd likely have been in significant icing at 4000ft so a descent to 2300 sounds plausibly like a descent into warmer air.
The puzzle is why a relatively powerful aircraft like that wasn't being flown at a more credible altitude above the tops if they were indeeed at 5000?

filejw 22nd Jan 2019 14:49


Without a doubt! Just not worth it .

Meester proach 22nd Jan 2019 14:51

The newspaper said the aircraft was owned by the football club.

I wonder what the insurers would say about such an expensive asset being flown in a single over a fair bit of water.

Thats not overlooking the human tradegy , just being pragmatic .

Vilters 22nd Jan 2019 14:58

Long time ago, during "chat hrs" with many students and instructors the "Golden rule" was always => If in trouble? => "Fly the airplane" => Climb, => Call => and Confess.

Only issue here could be icing that prevented the first 2 => Fly the Airplane and Climb. => Why the descend? => Will remain a mystery for ever.

If it was to stay VFR?? At night??? Over the channel? In winter?? In single engine?? With a snow front coming towards you?
Too many questions for my brain.

My money is on ice taking them down (or out of control.) But with that weather announced, they should have stayed on the ground.

DaveReidUK 22nd Jan 2019 15:09

Unlikely to have been G-regd. There is only one, privately-owned, P46T on the UK register.

strake 22nd Jan 2019 15:30

Not French registered either.

ATC Watcher 22nd Jan 2019 15:40

Raffels SA : re your Metars from Cherbourg. interesting but will be different over the sea. Channels islands have a micro climate , more interesting wold be to have the one of Alderney. or Guernsey .
anyway lilFlyboy 262 said there was icing one hour before around 3000 and an overcast cloud base at 5000 , for me that could well explains the request to descend to 2000 . Anyway in those conditions diverting to Guernsey should have been a good option for me. But I was not in the cockpit and maybe icing/weather has nothing to do with this accident.,

Luc Lion 22nd Jan 2019 16:01

I wouldn't fly IFR at 5000ft above Jersey simply because there is no IFR route that low in that area.
And with a P46T pressurised and FIKI, I would fly much higher.
So I really wonder what their flight plan was.

Downwind Lander 22nd Jan 2019 16:25

Does anyone know what happened to Tomnod, the people who acquired satellite images and asked the community to examine them for tell tale signs of anything useful? (No sign at tomnod.com)

These people:

Timmy Tomkins 22nd Jan 2019 16:37

It used to be a requirement in France to fly twin engined at night, single engine night was illegal. I assume this must not be a commercial flight or someone is breaking the rules.

ETOPS 22nd Jan 2019 16:47

The big unanswered questions are;

Who was flying and with what qualifications?
What type exactly are we dealing with? Big differences between all the "Malibu" variants
Why no trace on the various "Radar" websites? FL50 near the CI zone shows traffic almost to ground level normally...

Gurnard 22nd Jan 2019 16:48

Aircraft Identity?
One BBC report states:-
A spokesman for the French Civil Aviation Authority said the Piper PA46 Malibu aircraft was French but had not been registered in France.

Strange way of putting it.:confused:

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