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Missing aircraft: Investigators find seat cushions on a beach in France

Items likely to be from the missing aircraft carrying a pilot from North Lincolnshire, and a Premier League footballer, have been found on a beach in France.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch says seat cushions were discovered on Monday which they believe were from aircraft N264DB.

Items believed to be from the missing plane Credit: Ouest France & Josette Bernard

The plane was being piloted by Dave Ibbotson from Crowle, near Scunthorpe. New Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala was his sole passenger.

Investigators have now identified a priority search area of approximately four square nautical miles and a a specialist survey vessel has been commissioned to carry out an underwater survey of the seabed to try to locate and identify possible aircraft wreckage.

The fresh search will begin at the end of the weekend and is to take up to three days. It will also be carried out in conjunction with a privately operated search taking place after more than £300,000 was raised by the family of footballer Sala.

The official search for the plane was called off earlier in the week.

On the morning of Monday 28 January, we were advised by the Bureau d’Enquêtes & d’Analyses (BEA), the French safety investigation authority, that part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surainville on the Cotentin Peninsula. A second cushion was found in the same area later that day. From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.

– Air Accidents Investigation Branch

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