Does Anyone Believe This?

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Mon Jul 26 11:16:29 MDT 1999


Kennedy an 'excellent pilot' - examiner


July 18, 1999
Web posted at: 5:35 PM EDT (2135 GMT)
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) -- A federal pilot examiner who tested John F.
Kennedy Jr.'s flying skills said he was an "excellent pilot," a newspaper
reported Sunday.

        Kennedy, 38, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister Lauren
Bessette, 35, were missing and feared dead after the small plane he was
flying crashed in the Atlantic off the Massachusetts resort island of
Martha's Vineyard Friday night.

        "He was an excellent pilot," John McColgan of Vero Beach, Florida, told
the Orlando Sentinel. "I put him through the paces, and he passed
everything with flying colors."

        Kennedy had a visual pilot's rating. A higher instrument rating allows
pilots to rely on the plane's instruments if skies are not clear.

        Kennedy traveled to Vero Beach last year to take a pilot's course at the
Flight Safety Academy and went to McColgan for the federally required test
of his skills, the newspaper said.

        McColgan, a former Air Force flight mechanic, said he was once on the
flight crew of Air Force One when Kennedy as a young boy took a trip with
his mother and sister. Kennedy is the son of former President John F.
Kennedy, who was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.

        "This news just kind of kicked me because I flew him when he was 3 and
then here he came back when he was 37, a grown man, and just shot the
breeze with me like a normal guy," McColgan told the Sentinel. "You
wouldn't know he was a Kennedy."

        He said Kennedy had a lot of flight experience for someone with a pilot's
license for 15 months. Kennedy obtained a private pilot's license on April
22, 1998.

        "He flew a lot," McColgan said. "In fact, by now he probably has enough
hours to be a commercial pilot. He had more than 100 hours when he came to
me for his flight check."

Copyright 1999 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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