On the hazy, moonless night of July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. departed from Essex County Airport in New Jersey on his single-engine plane before he was never heard from again.
Kennedy Jr., along with his wife and her sister, were headed to a family wedding in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. When the plane never arrived, authorities declared it missing.
Fox News anchor Jon Scott relives the time he spent covering the story and breaking the tragic news to the world in Fox Nation’s “The Disappearance of JFK Jr.”
“I was actually, at the time, wanting to take flight lessons myself,” Scott recalled, “and I had been working on my wife at the time to try to get her to agree to let me fly.”
Rescue crews began the extensive search along Cape Cod and the Atlantic Ocean, trying to retrace JFK Jr.’s last steps.
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Private aircraft pilot Kyle Bailey was the last person to see Kennedy before he took off into the night sky.
“I was a little bit concerned based on the deteriorating weather conditions at the time, that if he did not have an instructor on the airplane with him, he might have a difficult time,” Bailey explained, “but it would be out of place for me as a pilot to approach him and say, ‘Hey, the conditions out there are bad,’ because I don’t know what the story is with him and who is on the airplane. So I pretty much just let him go about his business.”
At the time of his disappearance, JFK Jr. had flown a total of 310 hours, with just one hour of nighttime flying.
Kennedy Jr. and his two passengers were expected to land at 10 p.m. local time, but the aircraft last appeared on radars at about 9:30 p.m. before vanishing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“I know that there was a flight school at Essex County Airport where he took off. They canceled all lessons that night because the visibility was just too poor,” Scott said.
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After five days of search and rescue efforts, Navy divers found the bodies of the three passengers.
Although America’s son had died in a tragic accident, the Kennedys legacy lives on.
“The Disappearance of JFK Jr.” is available to stream now on Fox Nation.
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