Sun, Feb 17, 2008
And so it ends... after weeks and months of heart-felt searching
that employed the best efforts of thousands of people (on-site and
online), a Cook County Circuit Court has declared missing pilot,
Steve Fossett, dead.
Peggy Fossett, Fossett's wife, pursued the declaration in order
to resolve the legal status of his estate. The decision was made by
Judge Jeffrey Malak, Friday, and involved testimony from Peggy
Fossett, a family friend and a SAR Consultant before rendering the
declaration of death.
The decision ends the five month uncertainty that remained after
Fossett left Nevada on a routine GA flight in a friend's Decathlon
while searching for locations for his next record attempt, a world
land-speed record. Fossett, 63, became the first person to circle
the world solo in a balloon, in 2002 and was last seen Sept. 3,
heading for locations near Bishop, CA. In March of 2005, Fossett
set unprecedented new records as the first pilot to fly an aircraft
solo around the world. The flight was made without refueling and
covered 23,000 miles in 67 hours -- it was but one more in a
lifetime of successful record attempts.Fossett friend and fellow
adventurer, Sir Richard Branson, noted that "Steve's lived his life
to the full, and he hasn't wasted a minute of his life...
Everything he's done, he's taken a calculated risk with."
The extensive search for Fossett, rumored to be one of the most
intensive in US history, covered 20,000 square miles. The area
searched was known to be a tough one and some 15-20 aircraft were
reported to have gone down in the same general area without
Fossett, thankfully, lived long enough to see himself
inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in July.
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