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Tue, Jan 15, 2008

ANN Names The 'Heartbreakers' of 2007: #1--The Disappearance of Steve Fossett

...And Here, Darn it, Are The Heartbreakers

It is both the most "fun," and most difficult task, facing the ANN staff at the end of every year -- determining who, or what, did the most to promote the cause of aviation in the past 365 days... while also chastising those people or entities that did all they could to undermine the many successes the aerospace community has managed to accomplish.

Alas, 2007 saw more than its fair share of downers, aviation-wise. Sure, "stuff" happens... but a few folks, issues, or entities seemed to go out of their way to create problems for the world of aviation.

So... it is ANN's annual obligation to recognize a solid dozen of our Aero-Heartbreakers for 2007... in something of an informal order, starting from 12th to the 1st. Let us know what you think of our selections... whom YOU would have liked be included, or omitted, from such a list. In the meantime, we hope those who had something to do with this year's selections think a little more positively about the welfare of this industry, so that future lists become harder and harder to catalog. Be it ignorance, arrogance or just plain incompetence, these were the folks or topics that made our lot a whole lot more difficult and immeasurably injured the aviation world in the past year.

Shame on those issues, folks or topics that made our lot so much tougher in 2007...

From the Heartbreaker's List #1: The Disappearance of Steve Fossett  

A hero's passing deserves a certain amount of reverence and respect -- it should be a time for the celebration of all the good things that their life meant to so many and a reaffirmation of all that is good and right about a celebrated person's life. But... fate played a cruel joke on adventurer and world record flyer Steve Fossett, who one day ventured out a routine flight similar to hundreds, maybe thousands, of others that were flown that very day... and simply vanished into history.

There was an amazing search... both for the numbers that flocked to find this historic flyer, as well as for the intensity and technology brought to bear (some of which was very new... and will be used in the future, no doubt to save other's lives). For weeks, the world hoped, and then world just wanted answers... though they are yet to come. 

It was an ignoble end (for the moment) for a man who lived his life tearing down absolutes and proving to the world that there lies so very much adventure near and above cloud base.

Someday (soon, we hope), a hiker or some other soul journeying through the boonies will come upon Steve's aircraft and solve the mystery that broke so many hearts last fall. When that happens, Steve's loved ones will have some closure and hopefully, the world will finally be able to find the proper way to remember, with respect, the life of an extraordinary aviator who gave us some truly super-extraordinary moments to remember.

FMI: www.stevefossett.com

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