The report carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board into the accident has said the plane substantially exceeded its total weight limit on take off...

The plane which crashed in the Bahamas over a week ago killing AALIYAH and eight others was substantially overloaded, a preliminary report has established.

The report carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board into the August 25 accident has said the plane substantially exceeded its total weight limit on take off.

Nine people, including the pilot, were onboard the Cessna 402B when it crashed almost immediately after takeoff from the Bahaman island Abaco on a short journey to Miami’s Lantana Airport.

The plane’s centre of gravity was located toward the back, according to the report, but no mechanical problems were found in the engines or airframe.

The report did not release figures on the weight the plane was carrying or any other details. However, the Civil Aviation Department has estimated the weight at take-off, excluding the passengers, to be 5,495lbs. The BBC quotes John Frank, an independent expert from the Cessna Aircraft Company, saying the maximum weight at take-off for the model was 6,300lbs, leaving around 800lbs for all the passengers.

The plane was not registered to operate commercial charter flights in the Bahamas, a Bahamian investigator has said, and investigators are now likely to demand papers from the operating company, Blackhawk International Airways, to establish how the charter was arranged.