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Steve Fossett: Plane Wreckage Found

October 3, 2008

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Steve Fossett's Global Balloon Flight

Search crews have confirmed finding the wreckage of the plane that millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett was last known to have been flying when he disappeared in September 2007.

Members of law enforcement and emergency management who assisted in the search said that the tail number of the plane matched that of Fossett's borrowed Bellanca plane, in which he had set out on September 3, 2007.

The wreckage was found in the Inyo National Forest, near the California town of Mammoth Lakes. Human remains were found near the wreckage. Medical experts are on the scene now.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board who had reviewed photos of the wreckage said that if anyone had been in the plane at the time of impact, survival was unlikely.

A search for the famed aviator and holder of 116 world records began almost immediately after he was declared missing. After covering 20,000 square miles and finding no trace of Fossett, search crews suspended their efforts. In February 2008, a judge declared Fossett legally dead.

Some kept up the search, though, in fits and starts. A high-tech resumed just a few weeks ago.

Two days ago, a hiker found Fossett's ID tags a quarter-mile from where the plane wreckage was found.

Fossett was the first person to successfully circle the world alone in a balloon. A keen aviator and sailor, he set world records in planes, gliders, and boats.

He also climbed several well-known mountain peaks, finished the Iditarod dog sled race, swam the English Channel, finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race, completed a 100-mile running race, and finished an Ironman triathlon.

Click here to see an extensive list of his records and accomplishments.

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