The pilot of the missing plane carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala admitted he had issues.


The pilot of the missing plane carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala admitted he was rusty with an airport landing system before the disappearance


January 24, 2019 2:49 p

The pilot, David Ibbotson, posted on Facebook that he was rusty with Nantes Atlantique Airport's instrument landing system.Ibbotson and Sala were en route to Cardiff, Wales when their Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared over the English Channel on January 21.Cardiff City FC of the English Premier League signed Sala from Nantes FC for a club-record $20 million on January 19.

The pilot at the controls of the small plane carrying Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala admitted to being "rusty" just days before the disappearance.

The pilot, identified by UK authorities as David Ibbotson, posted on Facebook that he was "rusty" with the instrument landing system or ILS at Nantes Atlantique Airport in France, Sky News reported.

The ILS is a radio navigation system that uses a series of antennas and markers to guide pilots in landings with limited visibility.

Ibbotson posted the message on January 19, two days before the single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu he was piloting vanished over the English Channel while en route from Nantes to Cardiff, Wales.

What caused the disappearance of the 35-year-old plane and its occupants remains a mystery.

Argentine newspaper Ole published WhatsApp messages Sala sent to friends from on board the flight in which the 28-year-old said the plane "looks like it's about to fall apart."

Alec Wilson/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons-attrribution-sharealike.Cardiff City FC of the English Premier League signed Sala from Nantes FC for a club-record $20 million on January 19. At the time, Sala was the third leading scorer in France's Ligue 1, the BBC reported.

On Thursday, the Guernsey Police announced that authorities have called off their search for the missing plane and its two occupants.

The UK Aviation Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed that the aircraft involved in the incident is a Piper Malibu registration N264DB. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, the US registered plane was owned by a company based in Norfolk, England.

Documents obtained by Business Insider indicate the investigation of the incident would usually be handled by the US National Transportation Safety Board. However, with more than 90% of NTSB staff on furlough, the AAIB has "accepted delegation" of the investigation.

The AAIB opened an investigation into the disappearance on Wednesday.