Footballer Emiliano Sala died from “head and trunk injuries” an opening inquest at Dorset Coroner’s Court heard.
Sala, 28, was travelling onboard a Piper Malibu plane which disappeared from radar to the north of Guernsey in the Channel Islands on 21 January.
The Argentine striker had just signed for Premier League side Cardiff City from FC Nantes in France in a club-record £15m deal.
He was travelling on the small plane to attend his first training session at Cardiff.
Meanwhile, the plane’s British pilot, David Ibbotson, 59, remains missing and his family has launched a fundraising bid to pay for a fresh search.
Brendan Allen, the acting senior coroner for Dorset, adjourned proceedings into Sala’s death until November 6 for a pre-inquest review.
Allen was told an Air Accidents Investigation Branch inquiry into the tragedy could take between six months and a year.