American pop star Aaliyah Dana Haughton died in August 2001 when the twin-engine Cessna 402B plane she was riding in crashed. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas, and investigators believed that engine failure was the reason. The pilot, Luis Morales III, was also found to have cocaine and alcohol in his system, according to an autopsy report.
After the crash, another pilot named Lewis Key told the New York Post that the plane was overloaded and Morales had argued with Aaliyah's recording crew over the weight of equipment and passengers. Key also reported that Morales had trouble starting the plane initially. Both items point towards engine failure as a crash cause. The plane took off in perfect weather.
Eight passengers, including Aaliyah, died instantly in the crash. A ninth passenger was taken to a hospital in Miami, where he later died. Witnesses to the crash said the plane was only about 60 to 100 feet into the air before it crashed. The coroner's report said that Aaliyah died of severe burns and a blow to the head. They also added that severe shock and a weak heart contributed to death. The coroner postulated that if she had survived the impact, she would not have recovered due to shock.