The 19-seat Dornier-228 aircraft, operated by local company Busy Bee, crashed into a residential area near Goma airport. Several of the victims were on the ground when the plane came down.
Authorities said all 17 passengers and two crew members on board the flight died, as did seven people on the ground.
The plane was headed to Beni, 350 kilometers north of Goma.
The first images from the scene showed smoke billowing above the neighborhood with several homes in flames and dozens of men throwing buckets of water on them.
Poor aircraft maintenance and relaxed air safety standards are blamed for many air crashes in the central African nation. None of Congo’s commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are allowed to fly into European Union airspace because of safety concerns.