Collision researchers have found two cushions they believe are from the plane carrying Cardiff footballer Emiliano Sala when he disappeared in the English Channel.
The two seat cushions were removed in the same area of the coast near the town of Surtainville, Normandy, about 30 miles from the last site of the plane.
The family of the Argentine striker is currently in Europe after raising funds to launch his own private quest for the wreckage of the plane.
They hope the latest breakthrough could be the first step to finding out what happened to the 28-year-old and the driver who piloted him from Nantes in France.
On Monday, the mother of soccer player Mercedes and her sister Romina flew over the area where Sala's plane was located for the last time.
A light plane carrying the Argentinean footballer Emiliano Sala disappeared from the radar last week
Researchers believe they have found two airplane seats on a French beach on Monday.
Pillows of airplane seats were found on a beach, emerged today
The two seats were found on a beach near the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy
The Air Accident Investigation Agency (AAIB) said today: "On Monday morning, January 28, we were informed by the French safety investigation authority that part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surtainville , on the Cotentin Peninsula.
A second cushion was found in the same area later that day. From a preliminary examination we conclude that the pillows are likely to be from the missing aircraft.
A "priority search area" of about four square miles was established and a specialized vessel was hired to conduct a seabed search.
The AAIB statement said: "We are currently hoping that our underwater search on the seabed will begin later this weekend and take up to three days. Side-scan sonar equipment will be used to attempt to locate the debris on the seabed.
"If the wreckage is found, a remotely operated vehicle will be used to visually examine the wreckage."
The light aircraft carrying the 28-year-old pilot and roommate, David Ibbotson, disappeared on January 21, after losing contact with Jersey air traffic control on his journey from Nantes to Cardiff.
Sala's mother and sister flew in a plane that flew from Guernsey airport on Monday and circled Alderney Island a week after the Sala departed from the radar.
The family hired marine scientist David Mearns to assist in a private search and the official investigation is sharing information with his team.
The AAIB statement said today: "We are aware that a private search is also being conducted in the area, and we are working closely with those involved to maximize the chance of locating any wreck and ensure a safe search operation."
David Ibbotson was in control of the plane when he disappeared from the radar last week
The heart-broken mother of Sala, Mercedes (center) and her sister Romina (right) visited Guernsey and flew over the last known place on the plane
The two seats were taken somewhere on a long stretch of beaches on the Cotentin Peninsula
Mr Mearns, who is in charge of the private search, said today that a boat he has organized will work closely with an AAIB vessel in the coming days.
He tweeted: "The search funded by Emiliano's private plan will be conducted, on behalf of the Sala family, in close coordination with AAIB's search effort.
"The two vessels will work together to research the designated area in the safest, most complete and most efficient way possible."
The plane is believed to have collided with the English Channel because of the ice being clogged in the propeller or affecting the wings.
He was on his way to Cardiff, where the Hall was joining Cardiff's new teammates after signing with the French team Nantes.
However, after an hour, the pilot asked permission to air traffic control to reduce the altitude from 5,000 to 2,300 feet.
Cardiff fans paid homage to Sala before their team's game against Arsenal last night
He is believed to have attempted to get warmer air after the propeller or wings became covered with ice. But shortly thereafter, the Guernsey coastguard was alerted that the aircraft had disappeared from the radar screens.
Aviation experts questioned why the single-propeller light aircraft was flying over freezing conditions during the Channel at night, where a drop in chilled water in the dark would make survival difficult.
They also questioned why Ibbotson, a part-time pilot and gas engineer who had no license to carry paying passengers, was summoned at the last minute to fly the plane.
It is alleged that he aborted three takeoffs and joked with friends on Facebook saying it was a bit rusty in the previous days.
Players and fans were a minute's silence before Cardiff City's game against Arsenal late last night.
The name of Sala was also next to comrades in the program of the journey and a band of fans said: "We never saw you touch and never saw you mark, but our beautiful Bluebird Emiliano we will love you forever."