It has emerged Mr Ibbotson had begun studying for a commercical pilot’s licence in December 2012, at Cranfield Aviation Training School near Milton Keynes, but dropped out of the course in July 2014 before he completed it.
Dr Stuart E Smith, head of training, told the BBC: “It is common for middle-aged private pilots to undertake the CPL theoretical knowledge course so that they may then complete CPL flight training and be able to earn money as a pilot or flight instructor.”
He said Mr Ibbotson contacted the school again in 2016 to re-start the training, but never followed it up.
Sala’s body was found in the Piper Malibu N264DB plane’s wreckage off Guernsey on February 6.
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