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k. John Kennedy, Jr. is an example of the difficulty encountered by pilots whose training is limited to VFR. “In July of 1999, Kennedy’s Piper Saratoga was on approach to Martha’s Vineyard when it made a series of turns and then fell from the sky at 9:41 p.m., killing Kennedy, his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34.

The board did not address whether Kennedy, 38, might have become disoriented while flying over the ocean on a nearly moonless night in thick haze. Normally in crash investigations, the board first eliminates mechanical or structural causes before considering pilot error.

The board said that Kennedy had more than 300 hours of flying time, somewhat more than originally reported. However, pilots said that 300 hours would have left Kennedy at an experience level when pilots often become overconfident and are not sufficiently seasoned to recognize dangerous situations.” (Don Phillips

Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, July 31, 1999; Page A3)

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