John F. Kennedy, Jr Crash Article

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John F. Kennedy, Jr Crash Article
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  John F. Kennedy, Jr. Piper Saratogacrash A Piper Saratoga similar to the one flown by JohnF. Kennedy, Jr.. Accident summaryDate July 16, 1999 Summary Pilot error  Site Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts,United States41.29367°N 70.97756°W [1] Passengers 2 Crew 1 Fatalities 3 (all) Survivors 0 Aircraft type Piper PA-32R -301, Saratoga II Operator  private Registration  N9253N Flight srcin Essex County Airport, New Jersey(CDW) Destination Martha's Vineyard Airport,Massachusetts (MVY) John F. Kennedy, Jr. plane crash From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr. died when thePiper Saratoga light aircraft he was piloting crashed into theAtlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard,Massachusetts. His wife, Carolyn Bessette, and sister-in-law,Lauren Bessette, wer e also killed. The flight had departedfrom EssexCountyAirport (CDW) in Fairfield Township,Essex County, New Jersey. The intended flight path wasalong the coastline of Connecticut and across Rhode Island Sound to its final destination of Martha's Vineyard Airport(MVY).The National Tr ansportation Safety Board (NTSB)determined the crash was caused by: the pilot's failure tomaintain controlof the airplane during a descent over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. [1] The NTSB andother aviation professionals also cited variousinterrelated factors that may have contributed to the crash. Contents 1 Causes1.1 Haze and visibility1.2 Pilot experience1.3 Pilot training1.4 Psychological stress1.5 Pilot distraction1.6 No flight plan or request for help1.7 Late departure1.8 Flight over featureless, open water  1.9 Injured foot1.10Wrong frequencies2 Memorial service and burial at sea3 See also4 References Causes Haze and visibility Coordinates: 41.29367°N 70.97756°W  Hazy conditions existed on the night of the crash. Especially at night, haze can lead to spatial disorientation for  pilots. Although the weather was officially listed as VFR (Visual Flight Rules), allowing Kennedy to fly his plane thatnight despite his lack of an instrument rating, the visibility was poor in Essex County, New Jersey, and airportsalong his flight path reported visibilities between 5 and 8 miles with haze and few clouds. Other pilots flying similar routes on the night of the accident reported no visual horizon while flying over the water because of haze. Also, the NTSB reported on one pilot that cancelled a similar flight that evening due to poor weather. The conditions near the crash site were Clear skies at or below 12,000 feet; visibility 10 miles . [1] Pilot experience Kennedy obtained his private pilot license in April 1998 and did not possess an instrument rating, but had receiveda high performance airplane sign-off in June 1998 and a complex airplane sign-off two months before the crash. [1] Kennedy's estimated total flight experience was about 310 hours, of which 55 hours were at night. His estimatedexperience flying his plane without a certified flight instructor (CFI) on board was about 72 hours. His estimatedflight time in his plane was about 36 hours, of which 9.4 hours were at night. Approximately 3 hours of that flighttime were without a CFI on board, and only 48 minutes of that time was flown at night, which included just onenight landing. [1] It is not clear how much of this experience was in the plane type that crashed or Kennedy's other,more basic plane the Cessna Skylane 182. Fifteen months before the crash, Kennedy had flown about 35 flightseither to or from northern New Jersey and the Martha's Vineyard area. He flew more than 17 of these legs withouta CFI on board, including at least five at night. His last known flight in his airplane without a CFI on board was onMay 28, 1999. [1] Pilot training The CFI who prepared Kennedy for his private pilot checkride stated that he had very good flying skills for hislevel of experience. Four months before the crash, Kennedy passed the FAA's written airplane instrumentexamination and enrolled in an instrument rating course. He continued to receive flight instruction in New Jersey inhis plane, including flights from CDW to MVY. His instructors said he required help working the rudder pedals totaxi and land the plane because of his ankle injury. During a training flight at night under instrument conditions, hisinstructor stated that Kennedy had the ability to fly the airplane without a visible horizon but may have had difficulty performing additional tasks under such conditions. He also stated that the pilot was not ready for an instrumentevaluation, and needed additional training. The instructor at the time of the crash was not aware that Kennedywould be flying in those conditions without an instructor on board. The CFI further stated that he had talked toKennedy on the day of the accident and offered to fly with him that night. He stated that Kennedy had the capabilityto conduct a night flight to Martha's Vineyard as long as a visible horizon existed. Psychological stress The NTSB suggested that Kennedy's marriage may have contributed to a source of stress by the time of thecrash; [2] Kennedy had spent the final three nights of his life apart from his wife at a New York City hotel. [3] Additionally, Kennedy's magazine, George , was in serious financial trouble. According to the AeronauticalInformation Manual (AIM): stress from everyday living can impair pilot performance, often in subtle ways.Distractions can so interfere with judgment that unwarranted risks are taken, such as flying into deterioratingweather conditions to keep on schedule . Pilot distraction  Kennedy's plane flew into the path of American Airlines Flight 1484, which was on the approach to Westchester County Airport. [1] Controllers instructed the American Airlines jet to descend to avoid a collision. The two aircraftcame uncomfortably close . [3] No flight plan or request for help Kennedy never received a weather briefing or filed a flight plan with any Flight Service Station. Except for the take-off portion of his flight, Kennedy did not contact any air traffic controllers; during the flight, he never requested helpor declared an emergency. [4] Under the conditions of his flight, Kennedy was not required to file a flight plan, andalthough he did not, no one knew his exact route or expected time of his arrival. According to the Weather ServiceInternational, Kennedy made two weather requests before taking off. The information he was provided indicatedthat visibility ranged from 10 miles along his route to four miles at Martha's Vineyard. Late departure The flight was srcinally scheduled for daylight hours, but had to be postponed after Kennedy's sister-in-law wasdelayed at work. Heavy traffic further delayed Kennedy's flight and pushed it back until after dark. Originally planned to depart at 6:00P.M., the flight departed at 8:39P.M., nearly a half hour past sunset. At the time of takeoff, the moon was just above the horizon and provided very little illumination. Flight over featureless, open water After passing Point Judith, Rhode Island, Kennedy's plane headed directly towards Martha's Vineyard. Instead of following the coastline of Rhode Island Sound and Buzzards Bay, which would have provided visible lights on theground, Kennedy chose the shorter, direct path over a 30-mile (50 km) open stretch of water. According to theFAA Airplane Flying Handbook, crossing large bodies of water at night may be hazardous, not only from thestandpoint of ditching in the water, but also because the featureless horizon visually blends with the water, in whichcase depth perception and orientation become difficult. Injured foot Six weeks before the crash, Kennedy had fractured his left ankle in a paragliding accident. He had surgery, wore acast, and walked with a cane up until the day of the accident. During interviews, Kennedy's orthopaedic surgeonstated that, by the time of the crash, he would have been able to apply the type of pressure that would normally berequired to drive a car. Wrong frequencies When the NTSB examined the wreckage, they discovered that both of Kennedy's radios had incorrect frequenciesselected (he had selected 127.25 for Martha Vineyard's ATIS instead of 126.25; likewise, he selected 135.25 for Essex County ATIS, but it should have been 135.5). The NTSB did not comment on the contribution this factor had in the crash, if any. [1] Memorial service and burial at sea  After the crash, Kennedy's body was finally located on the ocean floor by Navy divers and was taken to the countymedical examiner's office by motorcade. [5] During a public memorial service for Kennedy, his paternal uncle, U.S.Senator Edward M. Ted Kennedy, stated: “ We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair,with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But, likehis father , he had every gift but length of years. [6] ” U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered that the flag at the White House and in public areas across the country to belowered to half-staff to honor the passing of Kennedy. At President Clinton's orders, warships of the U.S. Navyhad assisted in the search for the crashed plane. Critics argued that this was a massive abuse of taxpayer dollars, asno ordinary citizen would receive similar treatment. [7] On the evening of July 21, autopsies revealed that Kennedyhad died upon impact. [5] In the late hours of July 21, Kennedy was taken from Hyannis to Duxbury,Massachusetts, where his body was cremated in the Mayflower Cemetery crematorium. [8] In the morning of July22, Kennedy's ashes were scattered from the Navy destroyer USS  Briscoe and into the Atlantic Ocean off thecoast of Martha's Vineyard. The ship was used for the public memorial service with the permission of U.S.Secretary of Defense William Cohen. [7] See also Kennedy curse - briefly summarizes Kennedy family events References 1. ^ a   b   c   d    e    f     g    h NTSB Accident Report NYC99MA178 (http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001212X19354&key=1); NTSB, 2000-12-122. ^ Book Details John F. Kennedy, Jr., Carolyn Jeanne Bessette Marital Problems(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,90819,00.html) Fox News, 2003-07-013. ^ a   b JFK Jr.: Christopher Andersen (http://www.usatoday.com/community/chat/0712andersen.htm) USA Today,2000-07-124. ^ John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s last radio comments were routine(http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN0722279520070208), 2007-02-075. ^ a   b http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/jfkjr/recovery.htm John F. Kennedy, Jr. PlaneCrash and Search Time Line on www.washingtonpost.com6. ^ Edward M. Kennedy's eulogy to his nephew John F. Kennedy, Jr. (http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/EMK/Tribute+to+John+F.+K ennedy+Junior.htm). John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.7. ^ a   b Gellman, Barton; Ferdinand, Pamela (1999-07-23). Kennedy, Bessette Sisters Given Shipboard Rites (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/jfkjr/stories/kennedy072399.htm). Washington Post  . p. A1. Retrieved 2008-05-22.8. ^ http://theduxburyfile.wikispaces.com/file/view/John+F+Kennedy+Jr+Cremated+in+Duxbury,+July+1999.pdf Article in the Duxbury Clipper, July 28, 1999 Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_F._Kennedy,_Jr._plane_crash&oldid=573808178 Categories:Deaths by personAviation accidents and incidents in 1999Aviation accidents and incidents in Massachusetts
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