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The missing plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala is unlikely to have been fitted with a flight recorder, according to the UK’s aviation regulator.

So-called black boxes which record flight data and cockpit audio are mandatory in airliners and business jets, and are a vital tool for crash investigators.

But they are not mandatory for light aircraft such as the US-registered Piper Malibu plane, which went missing over the Channel on Monday night.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said the plane is “unlikely” to have been fitted with a black box.

The weight of the recorders is one of the reasons why they are not normally used by light aircraft manufacturers.


But it is a legal requirement for European aircraft to carry an emergency transmitter to aid search and rescue operations.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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