U.S. and Bahamian aviation officials are continuing their search for clues, saying they would investigate whether excess weight from baggage -- among other possible causes -- contributed to the plane

U.S. and Bahamian aviation officials are continuing their search for clues, saying they would investigate whether excess weight from baggage -- among other possible causes -- contributed to the plane crash that killed rising R&B star Aaliyah. As previously reported, the 22-year-old singer died with eight others when her plane crashed shortly after takeoff Saturday in the Bahamas.

The performer's body was flown to New York yesterday (Aug. 28); the bodies of the pilot, Luis Antonio Morales Blanes, 30, and the other victims were to be returned to the U.S. today.

The Miami Herald reported today that the pilot of the Cessna did not have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization to fly that specific plane for its owners, Blackhawk International Airways. According to FAA records, Blackhawk is cleared to fly charters under what is known as a single-pilot certificate, "meaning only one pilot was authorized to fly the plane that crashed," said Kathleen Bergen, the FAA's Atlanta spokesperson. That pilot wasn't Morales, Bergen told the Herald.

Blackhawk has been cited by the FAA nine times in four years for safety violations, the Daily News of New York reported in today's editions. The company was fined in March 1998 for violating safety rules and was warned in June 1999 that it was not following drug testing guidelines, the paper said.


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