The pilot of the plane which crashed into the English Channel with Emiliano Sala on board, was not qualified to fly at night, BBC Wales understands.
David Ibbotson is thought to have been colour-blind, and his licence restricted him to flying in daytime hours only.
Footballer Sala, 28, died when the plane carrying him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed late on 21 January.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it could not comment.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said licensing “continues to be a focus” of its investigations.
Regulatory authorities have confirmed that Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, did not hold a “night rating” on his UK private pilot’s licence, the BBC understands.
His UK licence was mirrored by a US pilot’s licence – enabling him to fly the US-registered Piper Malibu in Europe.
The public record of his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licence states Mr Ibbotson “must have available glasses for near vision” and that “all limitations and restrictions on the United Kingdom pilot licence apply”.
There is no publicly available record of UK pilot licences, which are held by the CAA.
But sources have told BBC Wales that Mr Ibbotson’s licence restricted him to “flights by day only”.
An aviation source told BBC Wales that the ability to be able to differentiate between green and red lights is “key” to flying in the dark.
“Anything that’s on the UK licence applies to the US licence as well, so he couldn’t do anything more than the UK licence allows.
“Flying outside the restrictions of your licence is illegal and that’s likely to affect the insurance cover for the flight.”
European aviation rules define night as “the time from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise”.
Flight plans seen by BBC Wales indicate the flight scheduled to take Argentine player Sala for his first training session with Cardiff City had been due to leave Nantes airport at 09:00 local time on 21 January.
But the flight was postponed until 19:00, at the request of Sala, to allow him to spend the day saying goodbye to his Nantes teammates.
By the time Mr Ibbotson taxied a Piper Malibu plane on to the runway ready for take-off shortly after 19:00, it would have been around an hour and 10 minutes since sunset.
Speculation about the legality of the flight has so far centred around the question of whether it complied with restrictions concerning private pilots flying passengers in Europe in a US-registered aircraft.
As a private pilot, 59-year-old Mr Ibbotson was not allowed to carry passengers for remuneration or financial reward.
A preliminary report from the AIIB, released in February, stated he could only fly passengers on a cost-share basis.
As the aircraft was US-registered, pilot and passenger must have a “common purpose” for making the journey, and the pilot must dictate when a flight leaves.
The report adds that the flight “must not be made for the purpose of merely transporting the passenger”.
In an interview in February, football agent Willie McKay, who commissioned the flight, told the BBC that he and his family paid for the flight.
He was not involved, he said, in selecting the plane or the pilot and it was not a cost-share arrangement.
The plane disappeared off radar north of Guernsey in the Channel Islands at 20:16.
Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane in early February but Mr Ibbotson’s body has not been found.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) states that to obtain a night rating, a pilot must undergo five hours of theory and five hours of flight training.
In their preliminary report, the AAIB said that because Mr Ibbotson’s pilot licence and log book had been lost in the crash, it had not yet been able to establish what ratings he held or how many hours he had flown recently – although it was known he had completed approximately 3,700 flying hours.
Investigators would normally look to establish how many hours a pilot had flown in the last 28 and 90 days before a crash.
The AAIB is expected to publish its full report into the tragedy early in 2020.
The Brexit process remains in deadlock as MPs struggle to find a consensus on the next steps.
The Commons failed to find a majority for a way forward after voting for eight different options on Wednesday.
And while some senior Brexiteers have moved towards supporting Theresa May’s deal, the MPs she relies on in the DUP have refused to alter their stance.
The PM won some support by saying she would resign ahead of the next round of EU negotiations if her deal passes.
This means she still may bring her plan back to the Commons this week for another vote – the so-called “meaningful vote three” – despite it already being defeated twice by large margins.
Mrs May’s close ally and former deputy Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the prime minister will “take the path of soldiering on”.
But although the prime minister has won over the likes of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a number of hardcore Brexiteers are still refusing to vote for the deal.
Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said he still believed it is still possible to get concessions from the EU on the deal, but if the bloc does not move, there should be “sensible conversations” around no-deal.
And the vice-chairman of the backbench European Research Group, Steve Baker, has suggested he may resign the Conservative whip rather than vote for the deal.
What happened last night?
MPs voted to seize power of the Commons on Wednesday and put forward a series of options to take Brexit forward – including leaving without a deal, creating a customs union and backing a confirmatory referendum on any deal.
But after several hours of debate, none of the eight options emerged as a front runner among MPs.
Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who oversaw the unprecedented process of “indicative votes”, said the lack of a majority for any proposition was “disappointing”.
But he told the Today programme no “assumptions” should be made about the outcome of further indicative votes, which he believes should take place on Monday if the PM’s deal is not approved this week.
“It’s very difficult to translate from how people vote the first time, when they don’t know how other people are voting, to how they will vote when they can see how other people are voting under new circumstances,” he said.
Ahead of Wednesday’s debate, Mrs May told a meeting of Conservative backbenchers she would leave office earlier than planned if she won Parliament’s backing for her withdrawal agreement with the EU.
Mrs May told her MPs: “I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party. I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”
She told MPs she would resign as party leader after 22 May – the new Brexit date – but stay on as PM until a new leader is elected. However, Downing Street said it would be a “different ball game” if the deal was not passed.
Did it work?
Mrs May’s announcement that she would not lead the talks with Brussels over the future relationship between the UK an EU prompted a number of Tory opponents of her deal to signal their backing.
The BBC’s political editor Emmanuel justice, says the controversy over the PM’s deal has been centred on the withdrawal agreement – or the first phase of Brexit – so for many Tory MPs, a reassurance that it won’t be Mrs May who leads that next phase is important.
But, she says, politics is a strange business, and rivalries and ambition may be part of many MPs’ calculations too.
Prominent Leave supporters such as Mr Johnson and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said they now viewed prime minister’s deal as the least-worst option.
But Mrs May needs to win over 75 rebels to overturn the 149-vote rejection of her deal on 13 March.
And many, including prominent Brexiteer and leader of the European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg, will not side with her unless she gets the support of the DUP – whose leader said on Wednesday they could not vote for the deal.
Mr Rees-Mogg told reporters: “I don’t think the deal’s suddenly got better, simply that the alternative is now worse.
“I’m in favour of the deal and I hope the DUP will come over to the deal, but we’ll have to wait and see what they do.”
The DUP’s main objection is to the backstop, the “insurance policy” designed to avoid the return of border checkpoints between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the event a future trade deal is not agreed.
It argues that the measure would result in Northern Ireland having to abide by different trade rules to the rest of the UK, which leader Arlene Foster says would “damage the Union”.
“The backstop in that withdrawal agreement makes it impossible for us to sign up to the agreement,” she told the BBC.
Party colleague Jim Wells said no unionist would ever back Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement as it was, since it would leave Northern Ireland “sitting in the waiting room for constitutional change”.
Mr Raab said he wanted the government to go back to the EU again, to “keep the arm of friendship open” and “explain that there’s still time for an exchange of letters providing a legally binding exit from the backstop”.
He added: “A lot of people say the EU just won’t move. That’s been treated as a fixture of these negotiations rather than being tested.”
But, if not, Mr Raab called for conversations to “mitigate any potential damage” from leaving without a deal.
No clear message from MPs
“If we do all of those things in the spirit of realism and pragmatism, we’ll find a way through,” he said.
Parliament demanded to be heard very loudly and then, when it spoke, it said lots of different things.
There were signs, both around the idea of a customs union – a closer trading relationship with the European Union than is in the prime minister’s deal – and also the idea of having a rubber-stamping referendum.
But there certainly wasn’t a clear message.
It is still the view – as ministers have said to me in recent weeks – that ultimately, even if Parliament takes control of some of this process, in the end they will go down a list, they will tick off the options one by one and all routes will lead to a form of Theresa May’s deal .
But the political damage that has been done and the political authority she has now staked and then lost over her offer to resign, make that harder and harder by the hour.
It may well be by Monday, and some people in cabinet now predict this, we are either looking at the prime minister going to Brussels to say we need a long extension or the country – as Oliver Letwin suggested – is seriously heading towards leaving without a deal.
There are also signs Theresa May’s offer to resign has hardened Labour opposition as they fear what the next Tory leader will push for.
Labour MP Liz Kendall told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I am extremely worried about our future relationship with the EU, and whatever is agreed in Parliament on the withdrawal agreement, the next Tory leader – if they’re a hardline Brexiteer – will push for a hard Brexit. I for one am not prepared to let that happen.”
Labour’s own alternative plan for Brexit – including “close alignment” with the single market and protections for workers’ rights – was defeated by 307 votes to 237 on Wednesday.
What happens next?
If Mrs May’s deal is not approved this week, MPs are likely to resume discussions about some of the options rejected through the indicative voting process.
Her deal has been rejected twice by MPs: in January by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history – and in March by 149 votes.
Of the alternative Brexit options voted on by MPs on Wednesday, Margaret Beckett’s proposal was defeated by 27 votes and Ken Clarke’s proposal lost by eight votes.
How MPs voted
Labour’s Brexit plan
Common Market 2.0
Revoking Article 50 to avoid no deal
No-deal exit on 12 April
Malthouse Plan B
EFTA and EEA membership
Former Labour MP Frank Field – who now sits as an independent and has voted for Mrs May’s deal – suggested a compromise could be to combine the withdrawal agreement with a customs union after the latter gained the most support of any of Wednesday’s proposals.
He told Victoria Derbyshire: “There is the will of the people that said we wish to leave [but] I think the negotiated deal by itself is not going to get through Parliament.
“We therefore need to add to that to get a majority in Parliament. The nearest we got to a majority yesterday was the customs union [so] I think we should combine the two of them.”
Commons Speaker John Bercow said on Wednesday the process agreed by the House allowed for a second stage of debate on Monday and there was no reason this should not continue.
While it was up to MPs, he said there was an understanding Wednesday’s objective was to “shortlist” a number of options before moving on to consider the “most popular”.
A Harry Potter superfan has managed to “Slytherin” to the record books after collecting thousands of pieces of memorabilia.
Victoria Maclean, of Tonna, Neath Port Talbot, has 3,686 individual JK Rowling-related items.
This earned her the Wizarding World Collection world record – which includes the Fantastic Beasts series.
YouTuber Mrs Maclean, 38, said: “I screamed a lot – it was so incredible after all these months.”
She was presented with her world record certificate by Guinness World Records on Wednesday.
The arduous task of counting her entire collection involved packing it all up from her home and taking it to the local rugby club where it could be laid out in full.
But the three-day process of packing, unloading, counting and re-packing had to be repeated after Mrs Maclean grouped some items as one when they counted as individuals.
This new record, incorporating collectibles from the wider JK Rowling universe, means Mexico City’s Menahem Asher Silva Vargas, who has a 3,097-strong Harry Potter collection, keeps his world record.
Mrs Maclean said: “Guinness said, ‘If you want, you could go for the Harry Potter record’, but my husband would divorce me if I did!”
It was while she was pregnant in 2001 that Mrs Maclean’s magical love affair began.
She was watching a segment on Blue Peter about Harry Potter and – two weeks later – had bought and read the first book.
Since then, the mother-of-three has collected every book, DVD, toy, bag, item of clothing and piece of jewellery she can – as well as a host of other collectibles.
Her YouTube channel means she often gets sent memorabilia to promote, which helps cut some of the cost, but her collection is worth an estimated £100,000.
Her prized possession is a 24 carat gold-plated Golden Snitch puzzle piece from Japan – one of only 5,000 made – which took six years to track down and buy.
Even with this record – there is still the Holy Grail that eludes her – a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
“I’ll never stop collecting until I really, really have to. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink – this is my vice,” she added.
As part of the record assessment, all items were assessed and verified by two independent witnesses – one of whom had to be a specialist in the area – and only official merchandise counted towards Mrs Maclean’s total.
Some memorabilia items were removed for not having the official labelling.
“I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming ‘There are no brakes! There are no brakes!’ before he jumped out of the locomotive,” witness Ibrahim Hussein told Reuters news agency.
“I don’t know what happened to him.”
Egypt’s railway system has a poor safety record, which many observers blame on a lack of investment by successive governments and poor management.
In August 2017, 43 people were killed and more than 100 injured when a fire ripped through an overcrowded passenger train, killing more than 370 people.
Reports of Ford stepping up plans to move production out of the UK are “deeply worrying”, former first minister Carwyn Jones has said.
The Times newspaper claimed the car giant told Prime Minister Theresa May it was preparing sites abroad.
Ford did not comment on the claim but said a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic” for the UK car industry.
It has a plant in Mr Jones’ Bridgend constituency and last month union Unite said 1,000 jobs were to be cut by 2021.
Those cuts, which the union said was because of challenging market conditions, would see the site’s workforce almost halve.
Ford is looking to shake up its European operations and is the latest carmaker to warn about the risks of a no-deal Brexit ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU on 29 March.
A spokesman said: “Such a situation would be catastrophic for the UK auto industry and Ford’s manufacturing operations in the country.
“We will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of our European business.”
Labour’s Mr Jones expressed his concern for workers and their families in Bridgend, but blamed the impasse over the Brexit deal on a lack of leadership at UK level.
“We have no idea what Brexit will look like,” he said.
“We’re six or seven weeks away from it and companies like Ford are saying, ‘look we can’t wait any longer, we’re going to have to put in place contingency plans’ and that’s deeply worrying.
“We need to make sure that we get to an agreement and certainty as quickly as possible.”
Unite national officer Des Quinn urged MPs to “stop gambling” with the futures of UK workers and their families.
He added: “They now must do what is best for the country by taking a no deal, hard Brexit off the table and securing the tariff-free, frictionless trade with Europe through a permanent customs union on which our manufacturing success depends.”
The UK government said the best way to provide certainty to industry is for MPs to support the prime minister’s Brexit deal.
Wales coach Warren Gatland says he will be happy if his side are underestimated following the scrappy win over Italy.
Gatland’s side top the Six Nations table after away wins against France and Italy and next face England in Cardiff on 23 February.
He said: “A lot of people will write us off, which is a good position to be in. Hopefully we’ll go under the radar.
“You’re not always brilliant and we weren’t today. We will be a lot better against England.”
Josh Adams and Owen Watkin scored second-half tries while Dan Biggar kicked 14 points to see off a resilient Italy side 26-15 in Rome.
“A lot of people will look to criticise us but you have to give Italy some credit for how they played,” added Gatland.
“That’s probably the best Italian performance I’ve seen since I’ve been in charge of Wales.”
Wales will achieve a record-breaking 12th successive Test win if they defeat England to beat the milestone set in 1910.
“We didn’t speak about the record at all this week but we will probably talk about it before England,” said Gatland.
“If this group of players achieve that, it’ll be something nobody can take away from them.
“We’ve got a chance, we’re at home, the stadium will be full, it’ll be some atmosphere at the Principality Stadium. So there will definitely be no lack of motivation in trying to beat England and break that record.”
Gatland said he had no regrets about making 10 changes against Italy from the side that beat France 24-19. He has used 31 players in those two victories and said the World Cup later this year was behind his decision.
“I was looking at the bigger picture,” said Gatland, whose contract with Wales ends after the tournament in Japan.
“For us as coaches, in our last year, we want to have as good a World Cup as we can. That was the plan all along. There’s no regret.
“If it was a normal year, on reflection, maybe we wouldn’t have made so many changes. We wanted to give everyone in the 31 an opportunity to be involved in the first two games.
“We’ll put this game behind us and the most satisfying thing was coming away with a win.”
A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane which crashed with Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said specialist contractors joined the operation in “challenging conditions”.
It was carried out in “as dignified a way as possible” and the men’s families were kept updated throughout, it said.
The wreckage of the plane, which vanished two weeks ago over the English Channel, was found off Guernsey.
The Geo Ocean III, the boat carrying the body, arrived at Portland Port in Dorset on Thursday morning as it is the nearest part of the British mainland to where the plane was located.
Dorset Police said: “The arrival of the body into Dorset has been reported to the coroner for Dorset.
“The coroner will investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.”
No formal identification has taken place, but the force said both families had been updated.
The Piper Malibu N264DB was en route from France to Cardiff, after the 28-year-old Argentine striker made a quick trip back to his former club Nantes two days after his £15m transfer to Cardiff was announced.
Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, was at the controls when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers on 21 January.
An official search was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”.
But an online appeal started by Sala’s agent raised £324,000 (371,000 euros) for a private search led by marine scientist and oceanographer David Mearns.
Working jointly with the AAIB, his ship and the Geo Ocean III, began combing a four square mile area of the English Channel, 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey, to make best use of the available sensors.
Mr Mearns said the plane was identified by sonar, before a submersible with cameras was sent underwater to confirm this.
The AAIB used a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to aid the search, with no divers involved.
The body was moved first, and separately from the wreckage, to maximise the chances of it being successfully brought to the surface.
It said efforts to recover the crashed plane as a whole proved unsuccessful, before being abandoned due to poor weather.
“The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close,” the AAIB said in a statement.
However, the AAIB said video footage captured by the ROV would provide “valuable evidence” for its safety investigation.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Sala’s former club, French Ligue 1 side Nantes, has demanded Cardiff City pay his £15m transfer fee.
Sala, 28, was Cardiff’s record signing but never played for the club.
The fee was due to be paid over three years but Cardiff have withheld the first scheduled payment until they are satisfied with the documentation.
A driver who admitted killing Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman’s mother by running over her has been sentenced to 30 weeks in prison.
Liam Rosney, 33, of Connah’s Quay, had previously admitted causing death by careless driving at Mold Crown Court.
Carol Boardman, 75, died in July 2016 after she fell off her bike in Deeside, Flintshire.
The court heard Rosney was distracted as he made or received three phone calls before the incident.
He faced a charge of causing death by dangerous driving but later admitted the lesser charge.
As well as the prison sentence, Rosney was banned from driving for 18 and a half months.
“This was an accident which could have easily been prevented and your contribution to that accident is significant in as much as you were distracted,” said Judge Rhys Rowlands.
“The distraction being as a result of you using your mobile phone before the actual collision.”
Mrs Boardman, 75, whose cyclist son Chris won gold at the 1992 Olympics, suffered multiple injuries when she was hit by Mr Rosney’s Mitsubishi pick-up truck after falling from her bike on a mini-roundabout in Connah’s Quay on 16 July 2016.
Judge Rowlands said: “Any accident which results in someone losing their life is the most appalling tragedy, the more so when the deceased, as here, was well-loved and, as I have indicated already, a pretty remarkable woman.”
The court heard that in the minutes before Rosney hit Mrs Boardman, who had fallen from her bike on the junction of Mold Road and Ffordd Llanarth, he made or received three phone calls while driving his vehicle, which did not have a hands-free facility.
Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said: “It’s clear he was speaking to his wife on the telephone four seconds before the fatal collision and he was, we submit, still distracted by the telephone call and mobile telephone handset.”
Oliver Jarvis, defending, said Rosney did not “want to make any excuses for his behaviour” and realised he had “destroyed the lives” of Mrs Boardman’s family.
Chris Boardman said: “My dad has lost his partner of 50 years which has just been absolutely gutting.”
Looking at the devastating impact the incident has had on his family, he questioned the nature of the charge.
“We don’t treat crime committed in cars as serious crime, so somebody can be careless and crush somebody else to death and it’s classed as careless,” he said.
While he said he did not want to see lots of people go to prison, he wanted to see the ability to do harm taken away.
Boardman called for a review of the law, saying people do “the easiest thing” when driving [such as using their phones] and “react to the consequences”, adding: “If the consequence is minimal then where is the reason to change behaviour?”
Rosney and his wife Victoria were cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice in July.
Mrs Boardman had been a competitive cyclist in her youth and had remained active in cycling until her death.
The family of missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala are planning an underwater search.
Family spokesman David Mearns told a press conference that a private search of the English Channel, paid for by fundraisers, also included fishing boats and other vessels.
The underwater search is expected to begin on Sunday.
Meanwhile the family has been taken on a plane to see the area that rescuers have been searching.
They left Guernsey Airport at about 09:30 GMT on a chartered flight with harbourmaster David Barker.
Sala’s sister Romina and mother Mercedes arrived on the island on Sunday and a family spokesman said they were struggling for answers.
The family travelled on a twin-engine Dornier 228-212 plane which flew from Guernsey and circled the island of Alderney.
Mr Mearns told a press conference on Monday: “We would like to thank all the people and all the companies that have offered their help,” he said.
“We have been planning an underwater search as a next phase… there are still boats on the water… and people are still looking.”
Speaking of Sala and the football community’s reaction, Mr Mearns added: “He’s a really friendly person that people loved – from both clubs and any other clubs, and that’s where you see the breath of the football community coming together in an extraordinarily short period of time to raise this type of money.
“So, obviously the family appreciate that, but their minds have been in a different place this week.”
An official search for 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, was called off on Thursday, with Mr Barker saying the chance of them being alive was “extremely remote”.
But, after a plea from his sister not to give up, more than £290,000 was raised for a private search to continue – which is being led by Mr Mearns, said to be a renowned shipwreck hunter.
High-profile donors to the GoFundMe page include France and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe, former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet and Leicester City winger Demarai Gray.
McKay has revealed text messages with Sala discussing flight arrangements.
One of McKay’s sons, Mark, was the agent acting for Nantes in the £15m transfer that made Sala Cardiff’s record signing earlier in January.
McKay told the BBC he had arranged the flight through David Henderson – an experienced pilot who had flown him and many of his players “all over Europe on countless occasions”.
It is not known how the job of flying Sala ended up being passed to Ibbotson.
The Civil Aviation Authority is to examine whether Ibbotson was operating with a private or commercial licence.
Henderson has not so far commented on what happened.
In the text exchange released to the BBC by McKay, his other son, Jack – who is a Cardiff player – offers to arrange the private flight for free so Sala could return to Nantes to pick up his belongings and say goodbye to former team-mates at the Ligue 1 club.
McKay said both Mark and Jack had a conversation with Sala about the difficulties of flying to the French city by commercial airline.
He also says a Cardiff player liaison official knew of the arrangements that were made. The BBC has approached the Premier League club for comment.
“With regards to the booking of the flight we contacted Mr David Henderson, who has flown us and many of our players all over Europe on countless occasions,” McKay said.
In a 2015 interview with the BBC, Mr Henderson spoke about his life as an experienced light aircraft pilot.
McKay added: “We had no involvement in selecting a plane or a pilot and we also wish to make clear again we do own the plane that Emiliano flew on.”
The Times newspaper has apologised to McKay for incorrectly stating that he owned the plane.
The agent also said he has met Sala’s friends and family to “give them an understanding of how Emiliano came to be on that plane”.
“The tragic events that have unfolded have shocked us all,” he added.
which will look at “all operational aspects,” including licensing and flight plans.
Similarly the Civil Aviation Authority is to examine whether the pilot was operating with a private or commercial licence.
Cardiff have started an internal inquiry to try to establish the events leading up to the flight, but a senior source has denied reports the club is considering a multi-million pound negligence lawsuit over the incident.
The source claimed senior club officials only became aware a private flight had been arranged after they were alerted by the club’s player liaison officer that Sala had failed to arrive at Cardiff airport as planned on Monday.
They also made the point that the club does not have a private jet for players to use and therefore they could not be expected to have arranged his travel to and from Nantes.
Argentina’s president has joined calls from Sala’s family and many fellow footballers for the search to resume.
Cardiff’s players will wear yellow daffodils for Tuesday’s Premier League fixture at Arsenal to honour Sala.
These messages between Jack McKay and Sala were translated from French.
Friday, 18 January
7:43pm – Jack McKay: “My dad has told me that you are going home tomorrow. He could organise a plane to take you direct to Nantes and to come back on Monday, at a time that suits you, so you can get to training on Tuesday.”
7:51pm – Emiliano Sala: “Ah that is great. I was just in the middle of checking if there are some flights to get to Nantes tomorrow.”
7:56pm – McKay: “He said he could organise a plane that would go direct to Nantes.”
7:56pm – Sala: “How much will it cost?”
7:56pm – McKay: “Nothing. He said if you help me to score goals it’s nothing.”
7:59pm – Sala: “Hahaha with pleasure.”
8:00pm – Sala: “We are going to score lots of goals.”
8:01pm – Sala: “I want to leave tomorrow for Nantes at around 11am and come back on Monday night around 9pm to Cardiff if that is possible.”
8:05pm – McKay: “Good. I’ll send a message when that’s sorted.”
Sunday, 20 January
5:00pm – McKay: “Hi there is it possible you could come back at seven in the evening on Monday night? Just because the pilot has to get home in the north after he gets to Cardiff.”
5:01pm – Sala: “Hi, Half past seven would be possible.”
5:03pm – McKay: “Yes that’s good.”
5:05pm – Sala: “[PICTURE OF LUGGAGE] Can you ask if I can bring this on the plane?”
5:06pm – McKay: “Good yeah.”
5:07pm – Sala: “But is that going to be OK for the plane?”
McKay: “Yes there is space on the plane for your luggage.”
5:12pm – Sala: “OK.”
Monday, 21 January
4:16pm – McKay: “I’m going to call in a moment.”
4.23pm – McKay: “He said that it is the same company.”
Three planes and five helicopters racked up 80 hours combined flying time looking for the plane, working alongside two lifeboats and other passing ships.
Guernsey’s harbourmaster Captain David Barker has said the decision to call to call off the search was a “difficult” one, but the chances of survival were “extremely remote” and he was “absolutely confident” no more could have been done.
Peter Gill, the island’s former harbour master, said: “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don’t even know where the haystack is.
“You don’t know which road it’s in, you don’t know which parish it’s in, you don’t even know which county it’s in.”
He added that the sea off Alderney, where the plane lost contact, was anywhere between 50m (164m) to 140m (460ft) deep, with currents measuring up to five knots (6mph).
“It’s very cold and it’s also quite challenging in terms of currents and they are very, very seldom slack. The actual chance of getting down and finding something is very, very difficult indeed,” he said.
But diver Richard Keen, who often looks for shipwrecks in the Channel Islands said he thought there was a “fairly good chance of finding the aircraft”.
“All other aircraft which have ditched around Guernsey were found very quickly by crab pot fishermen. When they’re lifting their pots, they drag their pots across the seabed, they tangle in the aircraft,” he said.
“There’s about a 50% chance of finding it in the next three months.”
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun an investigation which will look at “all operational aspects,” including licensing and flight plans.
The Piper PA-46 Malibu disappeared over the English Channel with Cardiff City’s new signing and Mr Ibbotson on board.
Mr Ibbotson of Crowle, Lincolnshire, held a private pilot’s licence and passed a medical exam as recently as November, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Sala’s father, Horacio, told Argentine TV channel C5N, he heard the news from a friend.
“I didn’t know anything. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’m desperate. I hope everything goes well.”
Meanwhile, John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said the probability of finding anyone alive from the missing aircraft was “reducing very rapidly”.
“I think with the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time,” he said.
“The sea temperatures are very, very cold and just sap the core temperature of anybody in the water very, very quickly.”
The plane left Nantes in north west France at 19:15 and had been flying at 5,000ft when it contacted Jersey air traffic control requesting descent, Guernsey Police said.
The plane lost contact while at 2,300ft and disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks, eight miles (13km) north-west of Alderney.
The force added UK authorities have been calling airfields on the south coast to see if it landed there but there had been no confirmations and a decision about an overnight search would be made at sunset.
A spokesman for the French Civil Aviation Authority said the Piper PA 46 Malibu aircraft was French but had not been registered in France.
“We can confirm Emiliano Sala was on board,” he said.
“This morning, the French research started with one French national navy ship and one aircraft. The investigation will determined which authority will take the lead on the research.”
Sightings of red flares were reported during a lifeboat and helicopter search, but “nothing of significance was found”, a Channel Islands Air Search spokeswoman said.
Police said on Tuesday more than 1,150sq miles had been searched by five aircraft and two lifeboats. The search had resumed after being called off overnight “due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility”.
Cardiff Airport confirmed the aircraft was due to arrive from Nantes but a spokeswoman said there were no further details.
Guernsey harbour master Captain David Barker said no distress call had been received and if the search continues into the night it is unlikely to have a good outcome.
“It’s far easier to see something on the surface in daylight,” he said. “We are looking for any traces of an aircraft, a life raft, persons in the water, life jackets.”
The Met Office said conditions were not “too intense” at the time the aircraft went missing but had become wetter and windier later in the evening.
John Fernandez, a reporter for BBC Guernsey, said it was a difficult area to search.
“A number of search vessels are out searching the area. It’s known for its strong currents – there are a number of shipwrecks,” he added.
“The search area is absolutely massive at the moment. They’re searching a number of different spots at the moment – they’re not sure whereabouts this plane might have gone down.”
Cardiff signed Sala for a club record fee after protracted negotiations with Nantes and he was due to join his new teammates for training on Tuesday. Training was cancelled.
In a statement, the club’s chief executive Ken Choo said they were praying for “positive news” for the player and pilot.
He added: “We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.
“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.”
He has been among the top scorers in France in recent years and had scored 13 league and cup goals this season, third behind Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.
When his move to Cardiff was announced, he said: “It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new teammates and get down to work.”
The most recent tweet from Sala’s account was a picture of him and his former team-mates, captioned “La ultima ciao”, or “the last goodbye”.
Sala began his playing career at Argentine side Club Proyecto Crecer, before moving to French club Girondins Bordeaux in 2012.
A CCTV clip posted on Twitter by police showed a group of seven young people walking past the vehicle shortly before the blast.
Addressing MPs in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “This house stands together with the people of Northern Ireland in ensuring that we never go back to the violence and terror of the past.”
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley told MPs those behind the attack “will never succeed”.
“Londonderry is a city that has thrived since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago – everyone can see that – and one that will continue to grow and develop despite the actions of those who seek to sow discord and division,” she said.
DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted that the PSNI “needs our full support to remove those responsible from our streets”.
Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell said there can be “no justification for this type of reckless activity”.
“Those responsible for this disruption have shown complete disregard for the people of Creggan, particularly elderly people who live in this area,” he said.
At the courthouse in Derry, scheduled jury trials have been put off until Wednesday.
Mr Davies said: “We’ve started to tally [the cost] up now and it’s way over £1,500 already.
“As you can appreciate, it’s not the monetary value, it’s the fact that it’s less than 24 hours before Christmas and everybody had worked hard all year to provide these presents – really thought about what they were going to buy.
“And that’s the really disappointing thing – how can people do that to you on Christmas Eve?”
The family said they had been amazed by the support of their neighbours who had given them presents and money.
“It’s really really humbling and renews your faith in mankind after something like that happens,” said Mr Davies.
“If there’s anything positive to come out of it, it’s the support we feel from the neighbours.”