Whilst many Kennedy clan tragedies have been put down to the "Kennedy Curse", planes seem to be the most popular. 

But why is this? Is it even real? Am I just talking complete nonsense? (I hope not for that last one!) 

The Kennedy Curse facts

Ok, I'm not going to argue the merits (or lack thereof) of the supposed "Kennedy Curse". I do not have sufficient expertise or knowledge to answer such a question. 

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However, I will point out one thing- the Kennedys are often subject to plane crashes. 

  • 1944- Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. dies in a BQ-8 (B-24 Liberator) aircraft he was piloting accidentally exploded over East SuffolkEngland.
  • 1948- Kathleen Kennedy dies in a plane crash in France
  • 1955- Ethel Kennedy's (wife of Robert F. Kennedy) parents die in a plane crash
  • 1964- Ted Kennedy survives a plane crash in Southampton, Massachusetts 
  • 1999- JFK Jr. dies in a plane crash, killing his wife and sister-in-law 

After Ted Kennedy's plane crash, Robert Kennedy wondered if "Someone up there doesn't like us!" In reference to the sheer amount of plane crashes the family had been through in such a short amount of time!

Whilst not all of these were fatal (as with the case of Ted Kennedy), they have often led to life-threatening injuries or at least life-limiting ones. 

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The reasons

There are several reasons why a plane might crash, but a passenger from a particular family is certainly not one. 

In most of the cases, the crashes were put down to pilot error. No, I'm not implying that there is a secret cabal of pilots who are doing this deliberately. In fact, JFK Jr. was the pilot responsible for his crash. 

I'm equally not implying that aircraft manufacturers or technicians are out to get the Kennedy family. Although many conspiracy theories are abundant about such a thing (or something similar!) 


It is almost unprecedented (and unheard of!) for one family to be involved in so many plane crashes! 

  • Chances of becoming president- one in 200 million
  • Chances of being involved in a plane crash- one in 11 million
  • Chances of becoming president and being involved in a plane crash- one in 22 billion!
  • The odds of being related to the president- one in 132 million

Whilst the odds of being in one plane crash isn't that high, the odds of having two family members be in two separate plane crashes in almost unheard of! Let alone five! 

Reasons why the Kennedys might be plagued with plane crashes

Five plane crashes affecting one family in a 55 year period is almost unprecedented! The odds are nowhere near in Kennedy's favor! 

Whilst I am not promoting conspiracy theories, nor do I believe them, it would make sense. There are hundreds of conspiracy theories as to what happened to JFK on the day of his assassination. Many of them claiming that the CIA had something to do with it. 

They would know how often the Kennedys use planes. So rigging them wouldn't be too difficult. But I digress.

Some could argue that it's just an unfortunate series of events. There's nothing in science that explains why the Kennedys are often involved in plane crashes (or the "Kennedy Curse" for that matter!) It could simply be a series of events that for some reason affect the Kennedy family! 

Reasons why the Kennedys might not be plagued with plane crashes

Many detractors of the "Kennedy Curse" point out that at least in terms of plane crashes, they haven't happened for a long time. In fact, a Kennedy hasn't been involved in a plane crash during the 21st century!

What relevance does this have? Aircraft safety wasn't as good back then as it is now. We have realized that past techniques for aircraft manufacturing or maintenance aren't as good as we once thought. Even, the quality of the pilot's training has improved in the past 20 years!

In terms of the Kennedy Curse even, the assassinations of JFK and Bobby Kennedy are more high profile. When you think of a Kennedy dying, even in recent years, you probably think of JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald or Bobby Kennedy and Sirhan Sirhan. Not a plane crash. 

The Kennedys also travel a lot. When you think of it, Ted Kennedy was a senator, he would've had to travel often between his own constituency and Washington DC. Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was a fighter pilot in WWII, which had a high turnover rate for pilots! 

Kathleen Kennedy was a Marchioness- the wife of a Marquis (a British nobleman). As such, she would've traveled a lot as it was fashionable back then, just as flying on a private jet is today! 

JFK Jr. was also an avid pilot, who flew quite often. In fact, flying a small light aircraft, such as the Piper Saratoga JFK Jr. was flying is actually more dangerous than flying on a commercial aircraft! So, that explains why he may have suffered the crash. 

Are the Kennedys plagued with plane crashes?

Whilst I don't believe the conspiracy theories, there has to be some reason why the Kennedys are involved in so many plane crashes. It's simply not possible to be random (in my own opinion anyway!)

The Kennedys are indeed plagued by plane crashes. Five plane crashes in 55 years, affecting only one family is hardly a coincidence!

I hope that this doesn't continue into the future. However, I understand that it is certainly a possibility that it could. 

Do you believe the Kennedys are plagued with plane crashes? Tell me in the comments!

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