The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, has a dismal aviation record. There have been 10 plane crashes in the nation since February of last year, resulting in 76 deaths -- not including Tuesday's crash -- according to Aviation Safety Network.
Saiki said because of its poor infrastructure, air travel is one of the few ways to get around the Congo.
"This is the third largest country in Africa, as big as Western Europe, and yet you don't even have 2,000 miles of roads," Saiki said. "So basically most of the transportation in such a big country is done by air."