Fossett’s single-engine vanished Monday as he was scouting dry lake beds in western Nevada, apparently to set a world land speed record.
“Steve is a tough old boot. I suspect he is waiting by his plane right now for someone to pick him up,” said Sir Richard Branson, who has helped finance many of Fossett’s adventures. “Based on his track record, I feel confident we’ll get some good news soon.”
The plane a Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon, tail number N240R registered to the “Flying M Hunting Club, Inc”, carried a locator that sends a satellite signal after a rough landing, but no such signal had been received.
An aerial search Tuesday that included 14 aircraft conducted grid searches over 7,500 square miles but intended to concentrate on 600 square miles when the search resumes.
Stephen Fossett is an American aviator, sailor and adventurer known for his appetite for setting world records. Fossett is best known for his five world record nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth: as a long-distance solo balloonist, as a sailor, and as a solo airplane pilot. Fossett has set 116 records in five different sports, 76 of which still stand.
Fossett took off alone Monday morning from an private airstrip, owned by Barron Hilton, near Carson City. He took off with enough fuel for four to five hours of flight. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson noted that Fossett apparently did not file a flight plan. A friend reported him missing when he didn’t return.
* Visit http://blog.flightstory.net/index.php?s=fossett for updates *