They were supposed to take a metro the next day, but Aliya didn't want to wait so they contracted a second rate carrier.
Also, in respect to all pilots, investigators should only have the same amount of time the pilot had to avoid the crash, to decide whether or not it was pilot error. The pilot only had 3 seconds to make a decision which could easily be 50-50, and every analyst in the country has years to say the pilot did the wrong thing and deface his honour by saying it was pilot error.
He took off over-gross, but who wouldn't? A singer is desperate to take a trip you've done countless times and could do in your sleep. Not only is she insistent to leave now, but she also insists on taking all of her equipment. Its easy in hind-site to say he shouldn't have gone, but realistically any pilot in that situation would have. The pilots who wouldn't, would be out of a job rather quickly. Thats the way it is.
The cause of this crash was an engine failure compounded with capitalism. His company wanted to make money and wanted the publicity of carrying a singer. The pilot guessed that the flight would be safe, and he chose the odds. 3% chance he crashes if he goes, 99% chance of losing his job if he refuses to go. He was unlucky.
Tragic that Aliyah was on the airplane. But before you blame the pilot of killing her, remember that he had a family too, and hardly wanted to die.