Jenni Rivera’s Plane Crashed ‘Straight Down,’ Family Still Hopeful

jenni rivera's plane crash

Jenni Rivera‘s plane likely entered into a death plunge of 28,000 feet, investigators reveal, crashing nearly head-on into the mountain where it and its passengers came to rest.

Jenni Rivera’s plane disappeared from radar screens early Sunday as the star, and, as we later learned, the craft and all aboard perished as the Learjet 25 disintegrated on impact in the craggy landscape of Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico. Investigators now describe a scene in which the plane’s wreckage reveals evidence of a 600 MPH collision after the pilot lost control of the Learjet.

Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza spoke of the moments before Jenni Rivera’s plane made impact with the ground, describing a fall that began 1.2 miles high before it started dropping. Ruiz admits:

“The plane practically nose-dived… The impact must have been terrible.”

Ruiz also mentioned that the pilot’s ID, found amid the wreckage, revealed that the man was 78 — an unusually advanced age to be piloting a plane by US standards.

ABC consulted aviation safety expert John Goglia, who said Jenni Rivera’s plane may have crashed due to equipment malfunction. Goglia explains:

“High performance airplanes by their nature have issues… The airplane flies faster than the human mind (can keep up) sometimes…. It takes a lot of skill to stay in front of that airplane.”

Father confirms Jenni Rivera's death

But despite long odds, Jenni Rivera’s family still holds out hope she survived the crash. As DNA testing is carried out on remains that may belong to the Mexican-American star, brother Pedro says:

“We still have hope that she’s alive… It’s a 95% chance that she’s dead, but we have that belief because we don’t have a body. They found clothes.”

Jenni Rivera’s plane crash occurred while the singer was en route to judge on Mexico’s La Voz, a version of the popular US show The Voice.