Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Nearly a year after Jenni Rivera and six others were killed in a plane crash in northern Mexico, investigating authorities have determined the pilot was too old to have a license and the plane was not safe to fly.
The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics in Mexico determined that neither the pilot, 78, nor the 43-year-old Learjet, should have been allowed operate. Authorities said the plane had been involved in a crash in in 2005, when the pilot lost the ability to steer it on landing.
Families of four of the people who were aboard the plane when it went down near Monterrey on Dec. 9, 2012, are suing Starwood Management, which owned the plane, and Jenni Rivera Enterprises in a wrongful death suit in California.
Attorney Paul R. Kiesel, who is representing the families of publicist Arturo Rivera, makeup artist Jacob Yebale, attorney Mario Macias Pacheco and hairdresser Jorge Armando Sanchez Vasquez, said he doesn't expect the trial date for some time.
"Was it pilot error? Mechanical failure?" he said. "We're not taking depositions from individuals who chartered the plane to find out more."
Rivera, 43, was considered the most successful female banda singer and sold more than 15 million records in a career that spanned two decades.