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Aaliyah's Plane Too Heavy

Report says excess weight brought down Aaliyah's aircraft

September 4, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Investigators looking into the crash that killed R&B singer Aaliyah have cited excess weight as one of the main causes of the accident. Aayliyah and the eight other people on board the twin engine Cessna 402B plane were killed on August 25th when their plane went down at Marsh Harbour Airport in Great Abaco, Bahamas.

On August 30th the Bahamanian Civil Aviation Department released a report stating that the aircraft had exceeded its maximum weight and that no problems were found with either the engine or the airframe.

The BCAD report indicates that after baggage and fuel the aircraft only had room left for 805 pounds, meaning that the nine people aboard the plane could have only weighed ninety pounds apiece to keep within the maximum takeoff weight.

Investigations into the crash have also revealed that the pilot, Luis Morales, had been charged with cocaine possession on July 7th. Morales had sixty days to report the incident to the Federal Aviation Authority, which could have suspended or revoked his flight certificate. Morales was still within that time frame when he was killed.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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