While aeroplane crashes are a relatively rare occurrence, there have been a haunting number of celebrities who lost their lives in flight over the past 70 years.

Since air travel started to outshine travelling by sail in the late 50s, stars have chosen to fly across the globe for concerts, acting gigs and sports events.

More recent years have seen private jets and chartered planes become more popular, with certain major stars becoming part of a devastating statistic of those who died in plane crashes.

The tragic death of basketball star Kobe Bryant earlier this year shone a light on the tragedies, after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed onto the side of a mountain in California.

Kobe, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six other passengers, lost his life in the wreckage, in an accident that shook the world.

Below, we take a look at some of the most chilling air disasters over the years that have claimed the lives of beloved famous faces.

JFK Junior and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

John F Kennedy Jr and his wife Carolyn Bessette died tragically in 1999

Son of President John F Kennedy, JFK Junior was a licensed pilot, having taken flying lessons the year before his untimely death.

The sweethearts were major socialites in the US, with former Calvin Klein publicist Carolyn having earned a reputation as a fashion icon.

On July 16, 1999, JFK Junior set off from New Jersey, flying Carolyn and her sister Lauren Bessette to the island of Martha's Vineyard.

However, when their plane failed to arrive at the scheduled time, a search began, and the aircraft was eventually discovered in the ocean.

All three bodies were recovered, and their ashes were scattered off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

The remaining band members in Lynyrd Skynyrd went on to perform separately

Rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd has gone down in history thanks to their hit song Sweet Home Alabama, but their legendary career came to a devastating end in 1977.

After wrapping up a gig in South Carolina, the group had a brush with tragedy while travelling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for another concert.

On October 20, with the band on board, their aeroplane ran out of fuel and plummeted into a forest in Mississippi.

Singer Steve Gaines, his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant all died in the crash.

20 others survived the crash, though the remainder of the band decided to temporarily part ways after the heartbreaking loss of their bandmates.

Their album Street Survivors, which was released days before the crash, went on to become Lynyrd Skynyrd's second platinum album.

Buddy Holly

Buddy died alongside two other musicians – Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens

One of the most iconic crooners of the 50s, Buddy Holly is the voice behind songs such as Peggy Sue, True Love Ways and Not Fade Away.

Sadly, when he was just 22, he died in a fatal plane crash along with fellow music greats Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Though Buddy originally planned to travel by coach, his tour bus developed heating problems and the musicians resorted to flying by plane.

In a tragic twist, the aircraft had just taken off from Iowa when it crashed into a frozen cornfield.

Buddy had only been married for six months at the time of his death, and his grieving wife Maria Elena went on to suffer a miscarriage in the weeks that followed.

Aaliyah

Aaliyah had been filming the music video for her single Rock the Boat before the crash

At just 22 years of age, Aaliyah was one of the biggest names in music in 2001, having risen to fame with the release of her debut album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number in the early 90s.

Producing three albums in her short career, she worked with Timbaland and Missy Elliott on her music and starred in two films before her death.

Tragically, the chart-topper died on August 25 when the plane she was travelling onboard crashed in the Bahamas, leaving no survivors.

The R n' B star had been filming the music video for her single Rock the Boat before the accident, which was later released posthumously.

Despite her untimely death, Aaliyah's music has continued to live on, as she goes down in history as the beloved “Princess of R&B”.

Otis Redding

Otis was just 26 when he died, leaving four children behind

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" singer Otis Redding was just 26 when he died in a shocking plane crash in Wisconsin.

Shortly before the plane took off, Otis spoke with his beloved wife Zelma and their four children – Dexter Redding, Demetria Redding, Karla Redding, and Otis Redding III – on the phone.

Though the cause of the crash was never determined, flying conditions were poor on the night of the accident, with heavy rain and fog.

One passenger survived, soul singer Ben Cauley, who said the last thing he remembered before the terrifying crash was unbuckling his seat belt.

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay was released one year after Otis' death and has gone on to become one of the most legendary soul songs of all time.

Jenni Rivera

Jenni Rivera was known as the Diva of Banda by her swarms of adoring fans

Singer Jenni Rivera was a huge name in the Regional Mexican music genre, winning two Billboard Music Awards and earning four Latin Grammy nominations during her glittering career.

Known as the Diva of Banda, the 43-year-old had more than 20 million albums sold worldwide when she took an ill-fated trip after a concert in Mexico.

On December 9, 2012, she boarded a ten-seat aeroplane in the city of Monterrey after performing the previous evening.

En route to Toluca, Mexico, the plane crashed shortly after take-off, and no survivors were found in the wreckage.

After her body was recovered, Rivera was buried at All Souls Cemetery in California, leaving the music industry grieving her loss.

Roberto Clemente

After his death, Pittsburgh Pirates player Roberto Clemente was added to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente was known for his activism and was travelling to Nicaragua to deliver aid at the time of his death.

The capital city of Managua had been devastated by an earthquake in 1972, and the 38-year-old decided to bring much-needed supplies to the locals.

Tragically, the plane he boarded was overloaded with supplies, weighing 4,200 lbs more than the recommended limit.

The aircraft crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico straight after take-off, and the baseball star's body was never recovered.

In 1973, Roberto was added to the Baseball Hall of Fame in honour of his achievements both on and off the pitch.