General News

Aaliyah's family plans private funeral in New York

By:
Aug 30, 2001 | 11:33am EDT

Young R&B star Aaliyah will finally rest in peace after her family holds a private funeral service for her on Friday in Manhattan, the funeral home told Reuters on Wednesday.

Although the last details are still being worked out by the Frank W. Campbell Funeral Home and Virgin Records, Campbell's general manager said the funeral will be private. He added that Aaliyah's family had had private visitations and that there were no plans for a wake.

A public service is also being scheduled for Friday, Aaliyah's label, Blackground Records' spokesperson told Reuters. No details where or when it would take place were discloses, although New York is a likely choice. An announcement is expected Thursday night.

Aaliyah's body was flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday on a private jet that transported her from Nassau, Bahamas to New Jersey's Newark International Airport, People magazine reported.

Fans of Aaliyah are still mourning the death of the 22-year-old singer as they hold candlelight vigils in her memory and run to music stores to buy her CDs. Aaliyah's third self-titled release, suffered a significant bump in the album charts this week.

Aaliyah leapt ahead eight places to 19 as sales increased by 41%, according to SoundScan on Wednesday. Industry observers expect higher sales over the course of the week, Reuters reports.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the plane crash that killed Aaliyah and eight others.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the pilot of the Cessna 402 argued that the chartered plane was overloaded and had trouble getting one of the engines started.

The twin-engine plane that crashed in the Bahamas may have been overloaded by at least 700 pounds, Bahamian police sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Investigators derived that figure by weighing the victim's bodies and the baggage covered from the wreckage and calculating the weight of fuel aboard the plane.

On Wednesday, The Miami Herald reported that the pilot, Luis Morales III, 30, was given probation after he pleaded no contest to possession of cocaine just 12 days before the tragedy after police found a small amount of crack cocaine in his car. Morales also pleaded no contest to earlier charges of dealing in stolen property and a third-degree grand theft.

Morales, who had been hired by the charter just two days before the crash, wasn't authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the plane for the operator, U.S. aviation officials said Tuesday.

FAA records show that Blackhawk International Airways is cleared to fly charters under a single-pilot certificate, but according to Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the FAA in Atlanta, Morales wasn't on the name authorization papers.

Morales apparently held a commercial pilot's certificate to fly multiengine aircraft with instruments.

"The whole thing is under investigation, and under what certificate that flight was operating has not been established," Bergen said.

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