ad info

 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




JFK Jr. plane search turns up more debris -- but no survivors

Larrabee explains how the search is being coordinated

related videoRELATED VIDEO
CNN's Miles O'Brien reports on the pilot training of John F. Kennedy Jr. and the aircraft he was flying (July 18)
Windows Media 28K 80K

CNN's Frank Buckley reports on search efforts (July 18)
Windows Media 28K 80K

CNN's David Ensor reports on the relationship between President Clinton and the Kennedys (July 18)
Windows Media 28K 80K

       Windows Media Real

       28 K 80 K
In-Depth: John F. Kennedy Jr.

  • Profile

  • Pictorial Biography

  • In his own words

  • Flight Path and Search Area

  • The Kennedy Tragedies

  • Reactions


Kennedy, Bessette families somber but hopeful

The flight:

JFK Jr.'s routine flight goes awry


World's eyes again drawn to Kennedy family drama


The Dynasty: TIME 100 Looks at the Kennedys

JFK, Jr.'s plane missing

July 18, 1999
Web posted at: 4:01 p.m. EDT (2001 GMT)

In this story:

Average survival in water 12 hours

Search field narrows

All-terrain vehicles comb beach


BOSTON (CNN) -- Searchers combing the seas off Massachusetts for John F. Kennedy Jr.'s missing airplane recovered more debris Sunday -- but found no signs of survivors.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Richard Larrabee said a headrest from an airplane had been discovered, at least the second that has been found since the search began Saturday. Kennedy's plane had six seats.

Capt. Robert Bird of the Massachusetts State Police also said that insulation, consistent with what is used to line the cabin of an aircraft, washed up near Philbin Beach on Martha's Vineyard, near where other debris came ashore Saturday.

Meanwhile, Larrabee announced that a unified command post would be set up at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod to oversee both search and recovery effort. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane crashes, has joined the effort, Larrabee said.

"All the debris is being sent to a secure area in Woods Hole, where the NTSB is cataloging it, marking it," Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Dave Oney told CNN.

Average survival in water 12 hours

The Piper Saratoga II HP carrying Kennedy; his wife, Carolyn, 33; and her sister, Lauren Bissette, 35, vanished Friday night about 9:30 p.m. while on a flight from New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard.

While Larrabee said a person might reasonably expect to survive only 12 hours in the 68-degree Atlantic waters off Martha's Vineyard, he stressed that searchers had not yet given up on the possibility that there could be survivors.

"The survivability in those waters has been exceeded," Larrabee said. "But I think those are only statistics, and they're only factors in all of the things we're looking at."

"We are still searching for more clues as to where this plane might have gone in," Larrabee said. "We're going to continue to search for the rest of the day."

Search field narrows

Crews focused their search Sunday in a 550-square-mile area just southwest of Martha's Vineyard, but Larrabee said searchers also were still looking further afield.

"We're really covering a very large area ... that's 1,200 square miles, and that's to make sure we haven't missed something that drifted away from us," he said.

The search, originally covering a much larger area between Long Island and the Vineyard, shrunk considerably Saturday afternoon when debris and personal items identified as coming from Kennedy's plane was found just off the shore at Aquinnah.

Radar data put the plane about 17 miles from Martha's Vineyard just before it vanished about an hour after takeoff from Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey.

The Kennedy plane had been expected to arrive at Martha's Vineyard about 10 p.m., leaving Lauren Bessette behind while the Kennedys continued on to Hyannisport for a family wedding.

All-terrain vehicles comb beach

A thick haze grounded search planes overnight, but the sea search continued on a limited basis. All-terrain vehicles set out just after 5 a.m. EDT Sunday to comb the beaches of Aquinnah for more signs of wreckage.

Bird told reporters that two state police search boats were being deployed to search No Man's Land Island, 3 1/2 miles off the southwest coast of Martha's Vineyard.

Bird said the island, now a National Wildlife Refuge, was once used as a military target. Any search of the island will be conducted only on its shores, he said, because of the threat of unexploded munitions.

NTSB: JFK Jr.'s plane shows no in-flight break-up or fire
July 30, 1999
At candlelight service for Lauren Bessette, mourners also pray for sister, Kennedy
July 25, 1999
Investigators to examine wreckage of Kennedy plane
July 26, 1999
Thousands turn out in Washington for Kennedy-Bessette memorial
July 25, 1999
Wreckage of Kennedy plane delivered to Cape Cod
July 24, 1999
Ted Kennedy pays tribute to his nephew
July 23, 1999
JFK Jr. remembered as legend with sense of humor
July 23, 1999
Memorial service attendees
July 23, 1999
Husband of '1,000 days' and 'perfect soul-mate' memorialized
July 23, 1999
Seeing the century through values and ambitions of Kennedys
July 22, 1999

National Transportation Safety Board
The New Piper Aircraft, Inc. "Saratoga II TC"
  • The New Piper Aircraft, Inc. "Piper Press Releases"
United States Coast Guard
Federal Aviation Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • NOAA ship Rude scanning ocean floor for Kennedy plane
  • NOAA Ship RUDE
  • Side Scan Sonar and Multibeam Sonar
Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce
  • Martha's Vineyard Beaches
  • Aquinnah Town Government
Massachusetts Community Profiles - Gay Head (Aquinnah)
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.