AALIYAH didn't want to get on the doomed flight that caused her death because the singer was worried the small twin-engine plane was overloaded, a new book claims.

The R&B singer tragically died in August 2001 at the age of 22 alongside eight others after a chartered plane destined for Miami crashed less than a minute after take-off in the Bahamas.

It was later revealed that the pilot, who wasn't qualified to fly the plane, had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his body.

It was also discovered that the Cessna 402 twin-engine light aircraft had exceeded its maximum weight capacity by several hundred pounds.

That weight had also not been evenly distributed, making the aircraft harder to control once it was airborne.

Why the plane was cleared to take off in the first place has largely remained a mystery since the devastating crash almost two decades ago.

But in her upcoming book, Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah, music journalist Kathy Iandoli believes she's finally uncovered the truth.


Iandoli, with the help of a man who was one of the last people to see the singer alive, has also refuted initial reports from the time that she was insistent she needed to be on the flight.

Aaliyah, a known anxious flier, actually reportedly refused to board the small plane, believing the size of her seven-person entourage and all of their luggage would be too much for the jet to bear.

The bombshell claim was made by Kingsley Russell, a Bahamian man who was 13 at the time and working as the star's baggage handler for his family's taxi and hospitality business.

Russell's mother was Aaliyah’s driver during her time on the island and he told Iandoli he spoke with the star on their way to the airport, as first reported by The Daily Beast.

The plane was late arriving at the gate by two hours, reportedly irking Aaliyah's team, Russell said.

Frustrations boiled further when the plane finally arrived and Aaliyah refused to board it, he recounts in the book.

It was then that members of her entourage reportedly started arguing with the pilot after he told them the plane would be too heavy for eight passengers and all of their luggage.

Aaliyah had been filming what would be her last music video, Rock The Boat, on the tropical island and her entourage was carrying heavy camera equipment with them.


As Russell remembers it, Aaliyah's team was reportedly insistent that they needed to be back in Miami as it was a Saturday night.

“[The airport staff] and Aaliyah had the common sense that the plane was overweight,” Russell says in the book, as reported by the Beast.

The 22-year-old then got back into Russell's mother's taxi, telling her team she had a headache and wanted to take a nap.

Eventually, Russell says, a member of Aaliyah's team came to check on her.

During the exchange, Russell says the singer reiterated that she didn't want to get on the small plane and that she wasn't feeling well.

The team member then handed Aaliyah a pill, Russel claims, which she took before falling "into a deep sleep".


She was then carried onto the flight unconscious, he claims, after the pilot finally caved and allowed her team to board.

“They took her out of the van; she didn’t even know she was getting boarded on a plane,” Russell recounts in the book. "She went on the airplane asleep.”

The flight took off at 6.50pm. It had only got between 60 and 100 feet in the air before nosediving back down to the ground.

Aaliyah and six of the eight others on board were killed instantly. Two others died in hospital.

One of those passengers was the singer's security guard. He reportedly spent his final moments worrying about Aaliyah's condition, first responders later said.


Aaliyah's body was found 20 feet away from the wreckage. She was still strapped into her seat and slumped over to her left.

An autopsy report concluded that her survival was “unthinkable" on account of the extensive burns and major head trauma she suffered.

"I remember when Aaliyah passed away, I was really upset," Iandoli said to The Daily Beast. "The story kept saying that she was adamant about getting on the plane. I was almost upset with her. Why did you want to get on that plane so badly? 

"In learning that she did not want to get on the plane, for someone like myself and so many other people, I think that's closure for us. It's an unfortunate closure… but I needed to hear she didn't want to get on that plane; I needed to know that. The person who I thought had the most common sense in the world had common sense to not get on the plane. The fact that she was so adamant, staying in the cab, refusing — these are things we never knew.

"The only thing I've taken with me is that after 20 years, I can finally say that Aaliyah didn't want to get on the plane," Iandoli continued.

"That makes me feel a little better, but not much. This didn't have to happen. She should still be here, and I think that's the saddest part about it. She deserved better."

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