original post: https://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=103551 --23 July, 2018
I Preface by saying I am, since 1977, a Commercial, Instrument Rated, and Multi-Engine Pilot.
Also, I did, from 1975 up until 2010, both own and operate an FCC approved Avionics Repair Station as my vocation.
I said all that to give you some background on my reasoning.
First... The aircraft involved in the incident was a PA-32R, termed a 'Saratoga', which was designed as a retractable gear version of Piper's PA-32 (Lance). These 6 place aircraft are a veritable workhorse, and are renouned to this day for their inherent ability to withstand abuse, be overloaded and yet survive.
These aircraft were generally factory equipped with the absolute BEST autopilot/flight director of that time, the King KFC-200, an instrumentation capable of safe 3 dimensional aircraft control with absolutely minimal pilot intervention. ie.. true hands off operation in most any meterological conditions. It was indeed the then king of true autopilots.
Of course, the pilot must be intimately familiar with it's capabilities and operation.
The training involved for the instrument rating, (which the media acknoledges JFKjr had only completed about half) is worth considering.
According to the media, JFKjr personally owned the aircraft. He had earned his private pilot licence in it, and thus had many hours in non-ifr operation of his own aircraft. It is a general requisite for flight instructors to exhaustively acquaint his student pilot with all installed aircraft capabilities and ESPECIALLY when the student is the aircraft owner and apt to be operating THAT PARTICULAR aircraft for a long term. Thus even BEFORE JFKjr embarked in the on the Instrument training he obviously had CONSIDERABLE instruction in autoipilot operation, and it's capability to 'save your butt' when one gets into poor visibility or night conditions. Even for the private license, JFKjr had the capability to operate it for life saving emergencies even WITHOUT the full instrument rating.
Now about the Instrument ticket. First, before even the first (formal) instrument flight training, one must of course first be a FAA licensed pilot, take a ground school course accomplished by the instructor, and PASS a (very) comprehensive FAA designed written test.
That JFKjr had accomplished the above is obvious, as the media claimed he was in FLIGHT training for his instrument ticket.
Now, as someone who has gone through it, let me say that in instucted instrument flight training one spends as much as three fourths of the actual flying time "under the hood". That is, you are fitted with a visor-type device that BLOCKS all vision other than the aircraft panel and your lap. You CANNOT see outside the aircraft, even periphically. Thus you learn to control the aircraft and complete your flight solely using the controls and available instruments. So...you can bet your bippy that JFKjr intimately knew at least the emergency uses of a great autopilot.
The final half of his training would be spent in dealing with failure of the autopilot and other instruments. This is simulated by the instructor placing black 'pasties' over some panel instruments, and particularly ones he feels you are relying on at the time. Your ground school knowledge should then remind you of useful alternate instruments.
So, even with the media reports he had not 'finished' his IFR training, reports of rain and poor visibility at the destination, and nightime... the 'accident' does not compute with me.
First, the PA-32R is a VERY dependable aircraft with a very good safety record.
Second, he KNEW both his personal aircraft and the emergency procedures for autopilot 'save your butt' operation,
And he had made that trip before....
Thus, I am left with 3 possible scenes. The first and lowest probability(to me) is mechanical failure of the airframe.
Personally.. due to the safety record of the aircraft, the probability of that is essentially non existant.
The Saratoga type aircraft is an retractable gear version of the Lance, which is an outshoot of the earlier Comanche airframe, and thus possibly the most durable and reliable Piper ever made. Also, even if there was instrument or even electrical failure, the aircraft has backup vaccuum driven instruments which would not be affected. In any event, He was certainly trained for this eventuality.
The second outcome is that Hillary had a bomb planted in or on the airplane. He was, after all running against her for New York Senator at the time. Very successfully running, I might add.
The third, is a false flag. JFKjr knew that the Hillary cabal and 'deepstate' was gunning for him because of what he knew.
So, he faked it with the good guys arranging for himself, his wife and his sister in law to go 'disappear' for a while, and courtesy of a USN seal team, who, incidently could also rig the ditched plane to appear crashed, destroyed and sunk.
One can reasonably assume that His wife and her sister were obviously privy to his knowledge, and thus also in danger, so he took them with him.
There you have my 2 cents...as I said...for what it's worth.