Have money and no flight plan, will disappear... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Have money and no flight plan, will disappear...

Whattaya think? Is Steve dead or just in hiding?

If he's down it's not a great place to be, that's pretty rugged, unforgiving country.

Plane wreckage proves not to be Fossett's

MINDEN, Nevada (CNN) -- Searchers completed their first overnight hunt for Steve Fossett, organizers said Thursday, after hopes were dashed that wreckage of the missing adventurer's plane had been found.

A Nevada Civil Air Patrol C-130 found no sign of Fossett after combing the sprawling 600-square-mile search zone with a thermal imaging camera during a nighttime flight.

On Wednesday, officials believed for a short time they had found wreckage of Fossett's plane, said Civil Air Patrol Maj. Cynthia Ryan.

A helicopter and a man on foot were sent to investigate, she said, but the debris proved to be older wreckage at an unmapped crash site. See a map of search zone »

One area of interest during Wednesday's search was the Walker River basin, Ryan said, with the hope that Fossett might have followed the river back to the ranch.

"This man has a wonderful history of being able to walk out on his own, he's done it more than once," said Ryan. "And boy, I'll tell you, if anyone has to be lost out there, this guy has the skills to survive."

Ryan said the mission remains a rescue effort "and recovery doesn't start until we actually find something."

The C-130's camera is designed to detect radiation or temperatures from objects on the ground. It then creates images from the data.

Officials were expected to hold a news conference Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

Fossett, 63, was in a single-engine Bellanca Super Decathlon when he took off at 9 a.m. (noon ET) Monday during good flying conditions from hotel magnate Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch in Nevada.

Fossett did not file a flight plan, but one is not required on flights using visual navigation.

Aircraft from the California and Utah wings of the Civil Air Patrol joined the search Wednesday, bolstering efforts across the massive zone that covers an area equal to half of Rhode Island.

Searchers were examining the same locations at different times of the day, as light and shadows can render some items invisible from the air at times, Ryan said.

Forecasts from the National Weather Service predicted clear weather through the weekend, with daytime highs in the 80s and lows in the low 50s. Winds are averaging about 5 to 15 mph.

Ryan said it could take a week under ideal conditions to cover the search area.

The search is nearly entirely aerial because of the area's rugged, high desert terrain, said 1st Sgt. Chuck Allen, spokesman for Nevada's Department of Public Safety.

Search teams include a few three- and four-person groups on the ground, mainly to follow up at specific locations, Allen said. For efficiency, the search area is divided into 8.6-square-mile grids.

Fossett's flight was intended to search for possible test sites to try and break the world land speed record. He left Yerington with four to five hours of fuel and no parachute, authorities said. He told friends he would return at noon.

Fossett's plane was equipped with an emergency location transmitter (ELT) in the tail, Ryan said. Two false signals were heard Tuesday. The ELT system won't work if the battery is low, it's immersed in water or it hits the ground too hard, she said.

Ryan said if Fossett escaped serious injury and could find water, "he could go on for a couple of weeks."

One of the search planes is equipped with ARCHER, a modified version of the Navy's hyperspectral imaging technology. To use it, search-and-rescue personnel input such information as the shape, size and color of what they are looking for; imaging equipment compares those parameters with what it sees on the ground.

"It can see as little as 10 percent of the target and extrapolate from there," Ryan said. Helicopters or ground searchers can follow up on anything with possible significance, she added.

In addition to the ARCHER plane and the C-130, the search also includes three helicopters from the Nevada Air National Guard and California Highway Patrol.

In 2006 Fossett broke the world's flight distance record in a single-engine, turbofan aircraft. He also was the first person to solo around the world in a balloon, and has broken numerous other flight, ballooning and sailing records.See Fossett's adventures via land, sea and air »

Fellow aviation enthusiast Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic sponsored the GlobalFlyer that Fossett flew during the first nonstop, solo flight around the world without refueling in 2005.

On Wednesday Branson said he worried that rescuers had found no sign of his friend but expressed optimism that Fossett, whom he calls "a tough old boot," will surface soon.

"If he's landed and he's not too badly hurt, he's the one person in the world who will be mentally and physically equipped to get out of it," Branson said.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 11:44 AM
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This is clearly another Area 51 incident.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 12:21 PM
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I think he was abducted by Russian terrorists. Yep. Ruskies!

What we need with all this so called 'Global heating' is another Cold War to cool things down. Yup.

War on alleged heat- WOAH!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 01:23 PM
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Somebody check Richard Branson's pool house!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 01:27 PM
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I fear that he was sucked into the fifth dimension...

Originally Posted by GermanStar
This is clearly another Area 51 incident.

Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
The world's a nicer place in my beautiful balloon
It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon
We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
Suspended under a twilight canopy
We'll search the clouds for a star to guide us
If by some chance you find yourself loving me
We'll find a cloud to hide us
We'll keep the moon beside us
Love is waiting there in my beautiful balloon
Way up in the air in my beautiful balloon
If you'll hold my hand we'll chase your dream across the sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
Up, up, and away.....
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