Finally, Steve Fossett’s Crashed Plane Found

James Stephen Fossett (1944-2007)
James Stephen Fossett (1944-2007)

Finally, Steve Fossett’s wrecked plane was found today at about 10,000 feet of elevation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the vicinity of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. Wreckage found today in California has been identified as the Bellanca 8KCAB (N240R) aircraft piloted by adventurer and famous aviator Steve Fossett.

The town of Mammoth Lakes is around 90 miles south of hotel magnate Barron Hilton’s Flying M Ranch where Fossett, 63, was last seen alive as he set off in the single-engine light aircraft on September 3, 2007.

The crashed plane was located thanks to the contribution of a local ski-shop owner, Preston Morrow, out walking his dog, stumbled upon several items of the 63-year-old adventurer’s personal belongings in a patch of thick undergrowth, including two ID cards, a black sweatshirt, and $1,000 in cash.

“I came across the ID Card, another card, and the 100 dollar bills in the dirt and the pine needles and stuff and I went, ‘wow’,” Morrow told reporters. “There wasn’t a picture of Fossett, but there was a name and ID. And stuff … It didn’t pop in my head right at that time who that was.”

The aircraft’s discovery may finally reveal what happened when Fossett, who had set more than 100 world records in several adventure sports, failed to return to the Flying M Ranch, a remote private airfield owned by the hotel magnate Barron Hilton, after what was described as a routine pleasure flight.

Soon after Fossett’s mysterious disappearance, conspiracy theories began circulating that he might have faked his own death in order to escape personal or financial problems, or to secure an insurance payout for his wife of 39 years, Peggy. Other theories were as absurd as saying he was abducted by extraterrestrials.

Meanwhile Fossett’s wife Peggy, issued a statement on saying she was monitoring the situation. “I am hopeful that this search will locate the crash site and my husband’s remains, and am grateful to all of those involved in this effort.”

Steve Fossett was an an American businessman, aviator, sailor, adventurer, and the first person person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon. He made his fortune in the financial services industry, and was best known for many world records, including five nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth: as a long-distance solo balloonist, as a sailor, and as a solo flight fixed-wing aircraft pilot.

A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, Fossett set 116 records in five different sports, 60 of which still stand, as of June 2007.

Source: The Independent – Fossett’s wrecked plane found in mountain area

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