Air crash investigators are attempting to recover body from plane wreckage

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The Piper Malibu N264DB carrying Sala (28) and Ibbotson (59) was discovered off the coast of Alderney in the English Channel on Sunday evening - nearly two weeks after it disappeared.

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search which began after two seat cushions were discovered on the French coast that likely belonged to the aircraft.

Footage of the plane was filmed at a depth of 220ft yesterday by a remotely operated vehicle from the Air Accident Investigation Board vessel Geo Ocean III.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will first try and move the body to the surface, before attempting to bring the plane up.

The image of the plane shows the rear left side of the fuselage, including part of the aircraft registration, N264DB. The wreck is now 67 metres deep in the English Channel.

An online appeal started by Sala's agent had raised £324,000 (371,000 euros) for the private search, which Mr Mearns offered to help with.

"I can't believe it".

On Monday, marine scientist David Mearns, who co-ordinated the discovery of the plane, said it was "imperative" the aircraft was lifted to provide answers to the victims' families. They called off the search only after concluding that no one would be found alive.

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The mission, however, could be delayed due to bad weather and rescuers have discovered one body in the wreckage seen 220ft down - showing its blue and white identification number.

Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline in France last Wednesday, further dampening any hopes of finding the footballer and his pilot alive.

Football fans around Europe have paid tribute to Emiliano Sala.

"Had that not happened, I don't think anybody would have searched for the plane", Mearns said.

At Cardiff's match against Bournemouth on Saturday, Sala's photograph appeared on the front cover of the matchday programme.

Sala's name, in the Argentina colours, was also spelled out behind one of the goals as supporters held cards aloft.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme on Monday, Mr Mearns said the plane was identified by sonar, before a submersible with cameras was sent underwater to confirm this.

"We were told by the AAIB that they didn't feel that there was much to be gained".

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