A body has been successfully recovered from the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said specialist contractors joined the operation in “challenging conditions”.
The private search was funded by the public after the initial search by Guernsey Police was called off. The wreckage was found under water on Sunday, 24 nautical miles north west of Guernsey.
The AAIB confirmed the recovery of a body but said efforts to recover the aircraft as a whole were unsuccessful, before being abandoned due to bad weather.
“Following extensive visual examination of the accident site using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), it was decided to attempt recovery operations,” the AAIB said in a statement.
“In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage. The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress.
“Unfortunately, attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful before poor weather conditions forced us to return the ROV to the ship. The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close. The body is currently being taken to Portland to be passed into the care of the Dorset Coroner.
“Although it was not possible to recover the aircraft, the extensive video record captured by the ROV is expected to provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation.
“We expect our next update to be an interim report, which we intend to publish within one month of the accident occurring.”
The Piper Malibu was travelling from France to Wales after Sala had said his goodbyes to former teammates at Nantes.