The plane carrying Emiliano Sala before his death broke up in mid-air, an investigation has confirmed.
Sala was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff on a private Piper Malibu aircraft in January 2019 when it disappeared off radar. It was later found at the bottom of the English Channel.
Sala’s body was recovered but pilot David Ibbotson, 59, has not been found.
A full report into the crash was released on Friday afternoon and it claims that the plane suffered an in-flight break up while being flown too fast for its design limits.
Mr Ibbotson lost control while attempting to avoid bad weather.
The investigation added that pilot Ibbotson was probably affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Investigators found that a contributory factor in the crash was Mr Ibbotson having no training in night flying and a lack of recent practice in relying only on cockpit instruments to control a plane.
Summarising the findings, Geraint Herbert, investigator in charge, said: “Control of the aircraft was lost during a manually flown turn and the aircraft descended rapidly accelerating.
“The aircraft rolled to the left and there was an abrupt nose-up control input, at a speed well above the maximum permitted for such an input.”
He said the resulting loads on the aircraft were “excessive”, which caused it to then “break-up in flight.”
“It was likely that the pilot’s ability to control the flight was impaired to some extent by carbon monoxide poisoning,” he added.
Argentinian striker Sala, 28, signed for Cardiff City from French club Nantes on January 19, 2019, for £15 million.
Mr Ibbotson flew him from Cardiff to Nantes so he could say goodbye to his former teammates later that day, before conducting the fatal return flight two days later when the plane plunged into the Channel.
An interim report published by the AAIB shortly after the accident stated that Mr Ibbotson was not licensed to conduct commercial flights.
The aircraft remains underwater off the coast of Guernsey after an attempt to recover it was hampered by bad weather.
A Cardiff City spokesman has said the club welcome the publication of the report, which they describe as “an important step in understanding the full facts surrounding this tragedy”.
A club statement reads: “t is a detailed and technical piece of work which, whilst apportioning no blame or liability, raises a number of new questions which we hope will be addressed during the inquest recommencing next week.