Instagram Stars Post Video of Plane Ride That Crashed Minutes Later

A private plane full of Instagram stars and models crashed on Monday, killing everyone on board, but not before the passengers took haunting media aboard the aircraft.

The plane, flying from Arizona to Las Vegas, was carrying Mariah Coogan, 23; Helena Lagos, 22; Anand Patel, 26; and James Pedroza, 28. All four had substantial followings on Instagram and were considered social media influencers. Two other passengers have yet to be identified.

Pedroza was not flying the plane himself according to a report by The Daily Mail, though it is reported to be his. The nightclub host and aspiring pilot posted a photo and video of the plane, a Piper PA-24, on Instagram at the beginning of February.

"New purchase!" he wrote at the time. "Piper Comanche 260 Can't wait to take this bad boy up and around for some adventures Whoohoo 6 seats."

Police would not confirm who was flying the aircraft, which crashed into a golf course before reaching its destination. Pedroza was reportedly working on obtaining his license.

As they prepared to take off from Scottsdale Airport, Coogan took several videos and pictures for her Instagram Story. She was shown sitting in the tiny airplane seat, and she flipped the camera to show Patel, nicknamed "Happy," in the seat opposite her.

Neither the FAA nor the National Transportation Safety Board would comment on their investigations into the crash, saying that the are ongoing at the moment.

An unidentified pilot reportedly flew Pedroza's plane from Las Vegas to the Scottsdale Airport in order to pick up the group from the Phoenix Lights Festival. That flight landed at 8:18 p.m., and the plane took off just 25 minutes later.


A friend of Pedroza told Fox News that he and Lagos, another Instagram model, were dating. Pedroza had been posting about pursuing his pilot's lisence for months.

"This person has a medical certificate but no pilot certificate. He was not the pilot of the aircraft," a spokesperson for the FAA told Daily Mail of Pedroza.