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Re: JFK Missing -- Coverage
- Subject: Re: JFK Missing -- Coverage
- From: Brian Vita <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 08:38:14 -0400
I am a conservative also but my political leanings have nothing to do with
the nausea that I am experiencing over not only the coverage but the
government attention as well. Like Mr. Kennedy I am also a pilot, probably
with more hours than he has. I my rented Piper Arrow went into the drink
with my wife and sister-in-law on board you can bet that we wouldn't have
half the Coast Guard looking for us.
A couple of points that seem to be overlooked by the media:
1. The Piper Saratoga is a very reliable single engine airplane. It is
correctly referred to as a "Saratoga" or a "PA-32" not a "Piper 32".
2. The generally accepted rule for flying single engine is to stay within
gliding distance of shore. This is not an FAA regulation but rather a rule
of thumb. If you are going to fly beyond that, the plane must be equipped
with rafts and vests. The flight path that is being depicted on TV from NJ
has him flying over a couple of expanses of water.
3. Martha's Vineyard, as well as Nantucket, are notorious for fogging in
suddenly. The meteorologists on TV have danced around the fact that the
temperature and dewpoint were relatively close, a prime condition for fog.
4. At night the ocean and sky are sometimes hard to differentiate.
5. The news stories make no reference of Kennedy having an instrument
rating meaning that he was only trained to fly VFR (Visual Flight
Rules). FAA studies have shown that the average life span of a
non-instrument rated pilot (ie. a VFR pilot) who flies into instrument
conditions (fog, clouds, etc.) is 3 minutes.
6. It is a commonly accepted practice, even on VFR flights, to file a
flight plan and/or to ask air traffic control for "VFR Flight
Following". This is an optional service that has the air traffic
controllers following your flight on radar and advising you of any air
traffic in the area. It serves as a second set of eyes for you. At the
very least they'd have some idea where he went down. Reports indicate that
he made no such request for services and no radio contact after leaving the
Given the above facts, the NTSB would normally crucify a pilot with their
findings for poor judgement. It will be interesting to see the political
whitewash that is applied to the report. I'd even be interested in
starting a pool to see how long it will take for the Kennedy family to sue
Piper Aircraft for some alleged failure of the plane to cover the poor
judgement. (This is actually a fairly common practice in the aviation
industry. - A pilot goofs and drives his airplane into a mountain and the
family sues the airplane manufacturer.)
It was a tragedy that three people died but lets forget that they are not
royalty and are entitled to nothing more that you or I if we were in that
At 10:41 PM 7/17/99 -0400, you wrote:
>It sounds like some of Dan's conservative leaning beliefs are talking
>Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush were involved in a plane crash, the coverage
>also be wall to wall. Amy Carter and the Reagan kids were not in the public
>spotlight nearly as long as JFK Jr. was, and they never recieved any lasting
>noteriety. Also, many older Americans have followed JFK Jr. since the Kennedy
>assassination, which was another great Kennedy tragedy. This country has been
>focused on this family, this very DEMOCRATIC family, for many, many years,
>sound like Mr. Billings is letting his political views tarnish what is a very
>legitimate news story, probably this biggest news story of the year.
>WXLO & Mediabase 24/7