TWO seat cushions believed to have come from the plane carrying former Soledad de Palma footballer Emiliano Sala, have been washed up on a beach near Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed today the items were found by the French safety investigation authority, on Monday.
A statement read: “From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.”
The plane Argentine Sala and pilot Dave Ibbotson were travelling in disappeared from radar while crossing the English Channel eight days ago. They were en-route to Cardiff after Sala, 28, was signed by the football club two days earlier.
A three-day search for the aircraft found no trace of the plane or passengers, and was called off by coastguards last Thursday.
But an independent search began on Saturday after around €280,000 was raised on a GoFundMe page following media appeals from the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Argentine president Mauricio Macri.
And now, AAIB investigators have identified a priority search area of about four square nautical miles and a three day underwater search will begin at the weekend.
“We will be gathering all the available evidence to conduct a thorough investigation. However, if the aircraft is not found it is likely to limit the scope of the investigation,” read the statement.