Dan rants: JFK Jr. redux

Okay, I want to let the Kennedy thing rest, but the media won't let me. And yes, I know I'm too young to remember JFK and the effect he had on the country, but if you really think about the concepts behind "ask not what your country...", doesn't that make you have to go clean out your underwear? It does for me, or at least that people cheered for it.

So an heir who was squandering a fortune his grandfather made on a mediocre magazine autodarwinated and now we're probably going to have to sit through some gawdawful mangling of the NTSB conclusions and undoubtedly whining hand wringing calling for legislation to protect people from themselves and wondering what went wrong with the airplane.

I offer this observation: I'm not a pilot, but I've heard over and over again that the average life expectancy of a VFR pilot who ends up in IFR conditions and loses track of the horizon is a bit under 30 seconds. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I think they were saying that radar saw his aircraft going from 2600 feet to 1200 feet in 16 seconds. If we extrapolate linearly we find out that he was just about average.

He made a bad judgement call. It caught up with him. His passengers trusted his judgement and that caught up with them, too. That same weekend I'm sure several hundred other people made bad judgement calls that caught up with them. Stuff happens.

Wednesday, July 21st, 1999 danlyke@flutterby.com