Another Week Of Searching Yields No Sign Of Fossett
September 13, 2007 —he agonizing search for Steve Fossett entered its 11th day Thursday yielding no clues as to the whereabouts of the world record-setting pilot. The Civil Air Patrol, National Guard, sheriff departments, and volunteer fleets continue to comb the Southern Nevada and Eastern California area, along with thousands online participating in the Amazon Mechanical Turk/Google Earth satellite image analysis project that allows anyone with an Internet connection to participate in the search.
Fossett took off in a Bellanca Super Decathlon from Barron Hilton’s Flying M Ranch on Labor Day morning, September 3, about 20 miles south of Yerington, Nevada. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
More Help Sought
Earlier this week EAA communicated via e-mail with Fossett’s niece, Renata Fossett, who reinforced a request from search coordinators at the Flying M Ranch for turbine helicopters and experienced mountain pilots. Specific requests are for turbine helicopters suited to high density altitude operations with pilots experienced in mountain/high density altitude/high wind/very low and slow operations. Details are available on the Steve Fossett Challenges website.
Also requested are additional trained search and rescue observers “with SAR/observer training or other specific and useful SAR skill.” Those interested are asked to contact Eric Ahlstrom at email@example.com.
Searchers are focusing their efforts on a 30-50 mile radius of Hilton’s Flying M Ranch as they believe Fossett was likely on a local pleasure flight rather than a scouting mission to survey sites for a planned land-speed record project as originally speculated.
Fossett’s website says the aircraft's last confirmed position (at approximately 10:30 a.m. local) was west of Powell Canyon (south of Walker Lake and southwest of Hawthorne), proceeding east towards the canyon, or less than 30 miles SE from the Flying M Ranch.