The pilot in the plane crash that killed Aaliyah in August had traces of
cocaine and alcohol in his body, the Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation
announced Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
An autopsy of Luis Morales III, who died in the accident with the singer and
seven members of her entourage (see “Aaliyah Killed In Plane Crash” ), showed cocaine in his
urine and alcohol in his stomach. The department is still investigating how
the substances might have affected the 30-year-old pilot.
Twelve days before the August 25 crash, Morales pleaded no contest to
cocaine possession in Pompano Beach, Florida, and was sentenced to three
years of probation (see “Pilot Of
Aaliyah’s Plane Had Been Caught With Cocaine, Was Not Authorized To
Fly” ). His pilot’s license should have been revoked, although it had
yet to be at the time of the crash.
In the report released Tuesday, aviation officials also noted the Cessna
402B aircraft Morales was flying may not have undergone fuel-pump wiring
modifications required three years prior to the accident. Particles and
corrosion in the fuel filters also suggested routine maintenance had not
The department is still working to track down the owner of the plane and
inspect the aircraft log, which should provide maintenance records.
An investigation shortly after the accident revealed the plane was at least
700 pounds overweight, a finding that also shows up in the latest report.
Along with equipment used during the video shoot for “Rock the Boat” earlier
on the day of the crash, the plane was loaded with one more passenger than
it was certified to carry (see “Aaliyah’s
Plane Overloaded, Unbalanced, U.S. Report Says” ).
Although the exact cause of the crash is still uncertain, Tuesday’s report
does rule out a few possibilities. The authorities said the plane’s engine,
airframe, propeller and fuel tank showed no malfunction.
In May, Aaliyah’s parents filed a lawsuit against the owners of the plane,
Virgin Records and several other companies, alleging negligence and
recklessness caused the crash (see “Aaliyah’s Parents Accuse Virgin Of Negligence In Crash
For complete coverage of the Aaliyah tragedy, check
out “The Aaliyah