Search Intensifies for Steve Fossett

In case you haven’t heard, one of the premier adventurers of our time, Steve Fossett went missing about 4 days ago. The 63-year pilot was supposed to be making a short flight around the Nevada desert, but he never returned, and hasn’t been seen since. Searchers have now mobilized, and are scouring the rugged area for any sign of Fossett, or his airplane.

Fossett is best known for his solo nonstop airplane flight around the world in 2005, but he’s also made many other achievements in balloon flight, sailing, gliding, skiing, and even running.

On 8:45 am, Monday, September 3, 2007, Fossett took off from a private airstrip in Nevada known as the Flying-M Ranch. He was apparently searching for a nearby lake bed that could serve as a flat surface for an upcoming world land speed record. He was supposed to only be out a few hours, but he never returned.

When he didn’t return on time, searchers started looking for Fossett about 6 hours later. Although Fossett’s plane is equipped with an emergency locater radio beacon, it hasn’t been heard from yet. He didn’t file a flight plan, and apparently wasn’t required to do so.

On Tuesday night, several teams of aircraft went searching for Fossett, scouring the rough Nevada countryside for any evidence of Fossett’s crashed plane. Nothing turned up.

Now the fourth day into the search, 10 airplanes and helicopters headed out again just after dawn. The weather is cooperating nicely, giving searchers clear skies. They were originally scouring 1,500 square km (600 square miles) but have now expanded the search to 4,400 square km (1,700 square miles). Sonar equipped boats will also be looking beneath the surface of nearby lake, which could explain why the emergency beacon isn’t functioning.

Original Source: Steve Fossett website