JFK Jr.’s final flight contact reveals little
The controller directed him to runway 22. “Five three November to two two, thanks,” Kennedy said, repeating the last few digits of his tail number. That was the end of radio contact as Kennedy took off in his single-engine airplane at 8:38 p.m. Friday, July 16, 1999. The night was dark and hazy enough that another, more experienced pilot changed his mind about making the same trip to Martha’s Vineyard from the same airport. Flying with Kennedy were his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette. He planned to drop Bessette off at Martha’s Vineyard and then fly on to Hyannis, Mass., for a family wedding the next day. The transcripts were released by the Transportation Department in response to journalists’ requests under the Freedom of Information Act. WASHINGTON – A long-awaited transcript of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s last conversation with air traffic control was released Wednesday but revealed little about the flight in which he was killed in July 1999. Records show a mere 34 words were exchanged between Kennedy and an air traffic controller as he requested and received permission to taxi to a runway for takeoff from a small airport in New Jersey headed to Martha’s Vineyard. Kennedy, who was flying under visual flight rules, was not in contact with anyone on the ground when his Piper Saratoga plunged into the Atlantic about seven miles from Martha’s Vineyard. “Caldwell Ground, Saratoga niner two five three November, ready to taxi with mike at airbound right turnout northeastbound,” Kennedy said. He was requesting permission to taxi to the runway from the control tower in Caldwell, N.J., which handled traffic at the Essex County Airport. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!