Peggy Fossett Asks Court to Declare Husband Deceased
November 27, 2007 — Peggy V. Fossett, wife of world record-setting pilot and adventurist Steve Fossett, has petitioned the Cook County Circuit Court to declare him legally deceased after exhaustive searches of the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains proved unsuccessful following his disappearance in early September. Fossett, a longtime EAA member who set several unique aviation records over the past 15 years, vanished Labor Day (September 3) while on a pleasure flight in a Super Decathlon. His flight departed that morning from Baron Hilton's Flying M Ranch in Nevada.
The National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report stated that the plane was destroyed in a fatal accident. But the plane wreckage has not been found and there was no chance that Fossett might somehow have survived, the court petition stated. "No one involved in the search holds out any hope that Fossett is still alive," the petition said. "He did not have a parachute, nor did he take a watch that had a transponder and could have sent out a distress signal. There was a transponder aboard but no signal was received."
Peggy Fossett said in a written statement, "As anyone can imagine, this is a difficult day for our family. We will continue to grieve and heal, but after nearly three months we feel now that we must accept that Steve did not survive."