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JFK Jr. Said To Have Expressed Fear

July 20, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ John F. Kennedy Jr. expressed doubt about his piloting abilities nine days before his plane disappeared, according to a family biographer.

C. David Heymann, who wrote a best-selling book on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, spoke with Kennedy by telephone on July 7, to set up a meeting to discuss a possible article for George magazine, Heymann said.

Heymann suggested they meet on July 16, but Kennedy told him the date was out of the question because he had to fly to Hyannis Port for his cousin’s wedding. But first, Heymann said Kennedy told him, he had to fly his sister-in-law to Martha’s Vineyard.

Heymann said Kennedy appeared concerned about making two landings in quick succession.

``He said, `I’m no Charles Lindbergh. I’m not the most experienced pilot in the world,‴ Heymann said in a telephone interview Monday.

Kennedy also lightheartedly complained that his wife, Carolyn, was making him drop off her sister, Lauren Bessette, on the Vineyard, according to Heymann.

``It was like saying, `My wife insists that I go with her to the women’s department at Saks,‴ he said. ``It was like that kind of a typical male complaint: `I’ve got to fly my wife’s sister to Martha’s Vineyard first.‴

The plane disappeared Friday night, and the three are presumed dead.

Heymann worked for the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, in the mid-1980s, and Kennedy was interested in a magazine piece on his experiences, the writer said.

The two grew acquainted after Heymann’s book, ``A Woman Named Jackie,″ was published in 1989, Heymann said.

Also Monday, a flight instructor at the airport where Kennedy kept his Piper Saratoga said the rookie pilot wasn’t reckless, and would often leave the airport without flying if he thought the weather was bad.

``He was not a risk-taker,″ said Ed Gacio, an instructor at the Essex County Airport. He did not teach Kennedy to fly, but said he knew him from the airport and frequently spoke with him.

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