As fans mourned her death, U.S. and Bahamian authorities began investigating what could have caused the twin-engine Cessna 402 to crash on a Saturday night in seemingly perfect weather.
Aaliyah and her crew were originally supposed to leave the following day, but they were reportedly in a hurry to get back to Miami, so they hastily chartered the doomed flight after shooting the music video for “Rock the Boat.”
Before piling into the small plane, an argument broke out between her entourage and the pilot, Luis Morales III, according to FOX News. Morales reportedly thought the plane was overloaded with nine people, their luggage, and camera and sound equipment. Shortly after takeoff, the plane nosedived and crashed, killing everyone on board.
But an overloaded plane may be just one of the reasons the plane went down. Following her death, MTV News revealed Morales had pleaded no contest to cocaine possession less than two weeks before the crash, and he wasn’t even authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the aircraft.
Aaliyah’s parents, Diane and Michael Haughton, sued the plane’s operator, Blackhawk International Airways Corp., as well as the plane’s owners, Skystream Inc. and Gilbert Chacon, and the flight broker, Atlantic Flight Group. In 2003, the suit was settled for an undisclosed amount, according to People.