A pilot admitted organizing the flight that crashed into the Channel causing the deaths of a footballer and another pilot.
David Henderson, 67, pleaded guilty to one charge over the death of striker Emiliano Sala, 28, who was killed on the trip to Britain from his French club to join Cardiff City.
Henderson admitted that he was the operator when his plane took payment for Sala to fly “without permission or authorization” from outside Britain.
He is denying another charge after recruiting fellow pilot David Ibbotson, 59, as a last-minute stand-in to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu from France to Cardiff airport.
Argentine striker Sala was on his way to the UK to play for Cardiff City in a £15m move from French side Nantes when the small plane crashed, killing both Sala and pilot Ibbotson.
Sala’s body was recovered the following month, but the body of Ibbotson, of Crowle, Lincs, has not been found.
Henderson was originally feared to be on the plane because his bank details had been used to book the flight, but he allegedly recruited Ibbotson for the flights that weekend heading to and from France both with Sala on board.