Mostly taken from the documentary Dark Legacy II The Murder of JFK Jr.
The report of the National Transportation Safety Board came out on August 8, 2000 (on January 8, 2001, the NTSB removed their original posting, and greatly edited the contents of the report. The unedited original NTSB report, downloaded from the NSTB website in August of 2000, can be read at link), 13 months after the plane crash of JFK Jr. It contradicts many of the lies pushed in the media.
On John’s fatal last Friday, he told his staff not to worry about their jobs, because, “As long as I’m alive, this magazine will continue to publish.” This would be a really cruel thing for a guy to say who was planning to kill himself in a few hours.
At 8:30, 45 minutes after arriving, John, his sister-in-law, and his wife took off from Caldwell Airport in NJ, and headed northeast toward Martha’s Vineyard ascending to a cruising altitude of 5,500 feet. An NTSB radar analysis shows the final moments of the flight in great detail.
At 9:33, the plane, still headed northeast, began descending from its cruising altitude of 5,500 feet.
At 9:38 the plane while still descending began a slight turn to the right so that it was headed due east, lining itself up with the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
At 9:38 and and 20 seconds the plane completed the turn and stopped its descent, leveling off at 2200 feet. But it’s against FAA regulations for a plane to fly below 2,500 feet without first contacting the tower. So in a manner that’s typical of John’s carefulness and following procedures, he brought the plant back up to 2,500 feet.
At 9:38 and 50 seconds, with wings level, the plane was on final approach, with 14 miles to go to the airport. At 200 mph, the plane would land in about 5 minutes.
At 9:39 John contacted the tower.
At 9:40 and 15 seconds, one minute and 15 seconds later, the plane suddenly dove out of the sky, falling 2,500 feet in 45 seconds, crashing into the water at 200 mph.
At 10:00 Adam Budd (link is cached page because link was removed from Boston.com) reported the missing plane to the FAA.
“An employee of Martha's Vineyard Airport alerted federal aviation officials that John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane was unaccounted for nearly four hours before a phone call from a Kennedy family friend early Saturday morning triggered a massive air and sea search.No search and rescue
The first phone call - which cited Kennedy by name - prompted no action by the Federal Aviation Administration. It was made at 10:05 p.m. Friday, only 25 minutes after Kennedy's plane was lost on radar and presumably crashed into the ocean.
''Actually, Kennedy Jr.'s on board. He's, uh, they wanna know, uh, where he is,'' Adam Budd told an unidentified FAA employee at the Bridgeport Automated Flight Service Station.
Until the plane is found, there is no way to say if an earlier search would have made a difference in the survival chances of Kennedy, his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, or her sister, Lauren Bessette.
However, a transcript of Budd's call, obtained by the Globe, adds fuel to questions about whether the FAA responded as promptly as it should have, and as quickly as its own regulations specify, to concerns about Kennedy's missing plane.
FAA officials said they responded appropriately to the call.
''We've researched the matter and found the FAA was not told that the aircraft was overdue, or that there was any indication there was a problem or a cause for concern that would raise warning flags,'' said Eliot Brenner, a senior FAA spokesman.
Kennedy was flying to Martha's Vineyard to drop off Lauren Bessette, after which he planned to fly to Hyannis to attend the wedding of his cousin Rory Kennedy. A well-dressed couple with a child who had come to the airport to meet Lauren Bessette grew concerned when the plane did not arrive as expected by 10 p.m.
They sought help from Budd, 21, a Bridgewater State College student from Sharon, Mass. In a telephone interview last night, Budd said he is also a licensed pilot who has worked for the past month as a ramp attendant at the airstrip.
Budd said he first called the airport tower, but was told Kennedy's plane was not expected - Kennedy had filed no flight plan - and that it had made no radio contact.
Budd then called the FAA outpost in Bridgeport, Conn., a repository for flight plans that also provides pilots with weather information and notices about flight restrictions.
During his conversation with the unidentified FAA employee, Budd asked if the FAA could track an airplane. Budd said he was with airport operations at Martha's Vineyard, then mentioned Kennedy's name and provided two possible aircraft numbers for Kennedy's plane.
The employee questioned Budd repeatedly about who he was and where he was calling from. After Budd gave his name, the FAA employee asked if he was, in fact, with airport operations. He ultimately told Budd, ''We don't give this information out to people over the phone.''
At that point Budd gave up, saying, ''I'll just have 'em wait,'' and then, ''All right, it's no big deal.''
In the interview, Budd said the transcript tells only part of the story.
''You have to hear his tone of voice, because the guy was kind of rude to me, making me feel uncomfortable,'' he said. ''I've called before and they were happy to help me out. The guy might have been having a bad day or something. I don't know.''
Brenner, the FAA spokesman, said the problem with the tone was Budd's. ''There was no tone of concern in the voice or anything out of the ordinary,'' Brenner said. ''There needed to be some expression that this airplane is overdue.''
In the end, no action was taken until a 2:15 a.m. Saturday phone call from Carol Ratowell, a Kennedy family friend. Her call to the Coast Guard set in motion a multiagency search that began with calls to regional airports and officially became a search and rescue mission at 3:28 a.m.
Globe correspondent Jennifer Babson contributed to this report.
Breaking news broadcasts at the time of the incident reported that there was final communication between the FAA and JFK Jr’s plane at the precise moment of 9:39 PM according to Petty Officer Todd Burgun from the Coast Guard base in Boston. This is absolutely consistent with the radar information from the NTSB that was used to reconstruct the last moments of the plane before it crashed therefore his report is credible, otherwise he could not have identified the exact minute that the plane was holding at 2,500 feet, waiting to get clearance from the tower before descending. He had to have gotten that information from FAA flight personnel in the tower at Martha’s Vineyard Airport.
This contact by JFK Jr. to the airport is very important for numerous reasons. Whenever you contact air traffic control, your particular radar blip is then entered into the FAA’s air traffic computer system. If anywhere on your flight path your plane should happen to descend below 100 feet, the computer will automatically set off an alarm at the FAA Traffic Control Facility. Therefore, as a result of Kennedy’s 9:39 contact with the tower, the computer should’ve set off a low altitude alarm in the FAA’s traffic control offices when the plane descended below 100 feet.
The FAA should’ve begun the search at 9:40 when this low altitude alarm went off. They knew before the plane hit the water. FAA regulations require that a search commence anytime a plane contacts the tower on its final approach and then fails to land within 5 minutes. As a result of JFK Jr’s contact with the tower,, the FAA also should’ve begun a search at 9:44 when JFK Jr’s plane failed to land.
How long did it take the FAA to begin a focused search... searching the approaches to the Martha Vineyard’s airport?
The cover up:
The information containing JFK Jr’s contact with the FAA was disappeared. At 12:30 Burgun was removed/silenced from any further reports of any kinds. In fact, all government agencies went silent and reporters were referred to the Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steven Roark.
The report from Todd Burgun wasn’t the only on-the-scene reporting that disappeared from the news by the Pentagon. According to the Pentagon the families of both JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette waited 4 hours to report them missing. Total lie! Friends of Lauren Bessette, Carolyn’s sister, were waiting at the airport and when the plane didn’t land at around 10:00, quickly reported it to the FAA officials, who did nothing.
One hour later, at 11 PM Senator Edward Kennedy contacted the FAA to let them know the plane was missing. The FAA officials did nothing.
Since the FAA refused to act, at 2:15 AM a family friend, Carol Radziwill, contacted the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard contacted the FAA. The FAA then contacted the Air Force who told the Coast Guard that they were in charge and sent the Coast Guard on a wild goose chase, to search an area 100 miles away from anywhere the plane may have gone down.
Linda Killian from People Magazine questioned Lt. Col. Steve Roark, the director of the U.S. Air Force's National Search and Rescue School at the time and former director of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, on TV about the time discrepancy regarding official notification of the missing plane. Raw uninterrupted static cut her off before she could even finish the question. This question never got answered and never got asked again and never got any mention in any media outlet.
At 6:30 AM Ted Kennedy woke up John Podesta, Clinton’s Chief of Staff. At 7:00 AM, Podesta woke up Clinton. At 7:15, Clinton told Podesta to call the Air Force and warn them if they didn’t have a search underway in 15 minutes, they shouldn’t bother to come to work Monday morning because they would all be fired, if they weren’t in jail.
So the Air Force scattered two planes and two helicopters across 20,000 square miles of ocean. The Air Force kept them searching this vast expanse for the next five and a half hours.
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When Col. Roark was asked why he his search was scattered all over the Atlantic, when the “N-Tap” report was available 8 hours earlier, pinpointing the location of crash, he said he would continue on the same track, stating that “we have nothing that absolutely pinpoints to one area as opposed to another, so we can’t rule out the entire flight.” When asked again about the radar position of the crash site, Roark lied and said it was just a “possible” position.
Moreover, all civil aircraft are required to carry an emergency beacon, an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), which are crash activated. The ELT sends out a signal that is received by a network of satellites that can instantly locate the crash within a matter of a few feet.
In other words, the FAA knew where JFK Jr's plane went down before it hit the water. But, it wasn't until 1:00 the next afternoon when Lauren Bessette's suitcase washed up on shore that the Coast Guard was able to focus on something remotely near the crash site.
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Where did the backup battery--necessary to preserve the last few words of the pilot on the radio and in the cockpit--to the cockpit voice recorder go?
Who was JFK Jr talking to minutes before he took off? What as he talking about? But it's missing despite the fact that it's supposed to be in the NTSB report.
What about the flight instructor who was reported--by family friend, Carol Radziwill--to be on the plane taken from the earliest statements after the crash? JFK Jr never flew his new plane without a flight instructor. Later on, "the family" reported the flight instructor was not on the plane and that JFK Jr didn't even have a license to pilot the plane that crashed, when he most certainly did.
So who is this person identifying themselves as "the family" and spreading lies?
And where did the missing airplane seat go? Portions of five of the six seats were recovered. Could it be the reason for the delayed search? They had to recover the body of the flight instructor who wasn't on the plane according to unreliable or coerced sources?