In this image released Monday Feb. 4, 2019, by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showing the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration N264DB that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala, when it disappeared from radar contact on Jan. 21 2019.  The Air accident investigators say one body is visible in the sea in the wreckage of the plane that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson. (AAIB via AP)
Emiliano Sala's body identified in plane wreckage
01:00 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The aircraft which crashed while carrying footballer Emiliano Sala passed a maintenance check months before the doomed flight, according to findings published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

The interim report outlines the final minutes of the flight from Nantes, northern France, to the Welsh capital of Cardiff, in which the 28-year-old striker and pilot David Ibbotson lost their lives on January 21.

Visit for more news and videos

The latest update confirmed the single-turbine plane was found “in three parts held together by electrical and flying control cables” and that it had undergone a scheduled maintenance in November 2018.

Findings also detailed how the plane changed altitudes a number of times before losing contact.

READ: As Emiliano Sala’s family grieves his transfer provides glimpse into football’s ‘arms race’

The single-turbine plane was found "in three parts".

The AAIB’s principal inspector Geraint Herbert said: “We have been gathering evidence from the wreckage, from video of the wreckage, we’ve been looking at radar evidence, we’ve been looking at weather reports we have from the area and we’ve been interviewing witnesses.

“The Air Accidents Investigation Branch will now analyse the evidence we have to try and build a picture of what happened.”

A full report which will look to “examine all pertinent operational, technical, organisational and human factors which might have contributed to the accident”.

READ: Emiliano Sala: Fans detained after ‘mocking’ death with airplane gestures during game

Emiliano Sala's funeral was held in his Argentine hometown.

Sala’s body was recovered from the plane’s wreckage after a private search, commissioned by his family and financed by a crowdfunding campaign.

The body of the 59-year-old Ibbotson, who held a private pilot’s license (PPL), has not yet been recovered but the pilot is presumed dead.

According to the report, a PPL “does not allow a pilot carry passengers for reward,” but says the basis on which Sala was carried “has not yet been established.” Previously, it said, Ibbotson had carried passengers on a “cost sharing” basis.

The Argentine striker had joined the Welsh side for a reported £15 million ($19.3 million) from French side Nantes and was heading to Wales after saying farewell to his former teammates.

His body was flown back to his hometown of Progreso, Argentina, for his funeral on February 16.

A public service was held in the gymnasium of the player’s boyhood football club, before a private service later in the evening.