November 25, 1960 – July 16, 1999
I was driving my taxi in the Upper East Side of Manhattan on a beautiful Summer evening in 1987 when I saw a man trying to hail a Taxi in front of a restaurant. As I drove closer to pick him up, I noticed it was John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of my assassinated Irish Catholic President. He got in and said that he was going to 20 North Moore Street in Tribeca, interestingly the same place years later where he would live. He seemed like he needed some space, so we only talked sporadically as I drove him down to Tribeca. From the small amount of conversation we had, I found him to be intelligent and charismatic, yet a down to earth nice guy.
I have also done quite a lot of research into the fateful evening of Friday, July 16, 1999. What I found was that John F. Kennedy Jr. was a careful and capable pilot. He was in voice contact and visual of Martha’s Vineyard Airport, an airport he knew quite well and had landed at numerous times before.
In the 15 months before the so-called accident, John F. Kennedy Jr. had flown about 35 flight legs either to or from the Essex County / Teterboro, New Jersey, area and the Martha’s Vineyard / Hyannis, Massachusetts, area.
At 8:39 p.m. on July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. departed from Essex County Airport (CDW) in his privately owned Piper Saratoga II with his wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren. The flight plan was destined for Barnstable Municipal-Boardman / Polando Field (HYA), with a scheduled stop at Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) to drop off Lauren. Because Kennedy filed no official flight plan, the itinerary above was put together from the testimony of friends and family.
On July 16, 1999, at 9:40:15 p.m. something went catastrophically wrong, when his Piper Saratoga II plane suddenly plunged 2500 feet in 45 seconds into the Atlantic Ocean, some seven and one-half miles short of his first stop, Martha’s Vineyard Airport.
“I will expose my Father’s killers no matter who they are,
even if I have to bring down the whole government.”
John F. Kennedy Jr.
John F. Kennedy Jr. Archive
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