Kennedy Crash at Martha's Vineyard


The Wedding In Hyannis

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating the accident referred to the aircraft's rapid descent into the sea as uncontrolled based upon analysis of radar data. It descended rapidly at a rate of more than 5,000' per minute. Kennedy was flying a Saratoga II high performance airplane manufactured by Piper Aircraft.

Initial breaking news reports stated that Kennedy's airplane was missing with three people on board over Martha's Vineyard. Flash news reports left television and radio stations nationwide with hours to fill before the final discovery of the crash was announced. Unfortunately, quick fill news reports conjured up many inaccurate stories concerning the safety of aviation.

The factual purpose of the flight became a significant since the flight was taking family members to the family estate in Hyannis for a marriage celebration that was to occurr the next day_Saturday. Discovery of the airplane wreckage in the waters off Martha's Vineyard led to the gruesome task of retrieving bodies from the sea. Subsequent cremation of the bodies and burial at sea, provided for sensational news.

Did "get there itis" provoke JFK into flying, or were there other unknown factors that contributed to the crash. Get-there-itis is a term used in aviation to describe the thought process prior to flight, which overcomes common sense thinking. Rational thinking prior to departure leads to a got to get there mentality that can result in fatal consequences. Such often occures when adverse weather conditions are ignored by the pilot.

We can only speculate cause until the final NTSB report on the accident is release. This may take as long as a year, or more. One fact released by NTSB investigators early on in their preliminary report points to uncontrolled contact with water, which means the pilot had little or no control over the airplane when it impacted the ocean at rapid speed. Did Kennedy lose total control of his airplane because he found himself flying in dangerous visual conditions as nature dimmed the lights. Radar data shows that he was on his third attempt at landing after twice turning the airplane away from the airport. It was on this third attempt that the crash occurred.