back to article Steve Fossett dead: Official

A Chicago court last Friday declared Steve Fossett officially dead - five months after he and his aircraft went missing in Nevada. The 63-year-old adventurer disappeared on 3 September last year after taking off from Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch, roughly 70 miles southeast of Reno, in his Bellanca Citabria Super Decathalon …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Rest in peace

    I can't imagine how he could just disapear in the United States after all his expeditions...

    Zone 51?

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    In Life there is Death and in Death, Pond Life?

    "Steve had no debt and no life insurance." ..... and his Will as to who would Control his vast estate? Or are vultures and wolves feasting on its unclaimed unchartered remains, scavengers and parasites looking for a free meal and a Ticket to Ride outta Town/along Wall Street.

    For some, is Morality Dismissed and/or Unknown.

  3. cor
    Thumb Up


    Wherever he may be, with Elvis or otherwise.

  4. Tim Blair

    RIP dude

    what a loss. a great man. I still can't believe he's not going walk out the desert some day after living on sand and cactus juice. the world is a lesser place

  5. A Gould

    @By Cor

    It's far more likely he's with Jim Morrison, frankly.

  6. Jared Earle


    The world needs adventurers and there's always a risk involved. It was pretty certain he was gone when he didn't turn on his Breitling Emergency.

    It's a shame, but if it weren't dangerous we'd all be doing it.

  7. John Taylor

    A sad loss

    A sad loss for someone who was so keen to travel the world.

  8. Jared Earle

    correction to my previous comment

    “Fossett's wife, Peggy, issued a statement Thursday in response to questions about whether her husband was wearing a watch with an emergency transmitter on his flight. She said he owned such a Breitling watch but did not bring it on the trip.”

  9. Graham Bartlett


    "I can't imagine how he could just disapear in the United States"

    Bad luck. Or maybe more likely, not taking sufficient care with lower-level risks.

    One of the UK's top female rock-climbers died about 10-15 years back after slipping on a walk down that any kid in trainers would happily scramble up and down all day. And just last month, the British Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association's magazine carried an obit for a pilot with 20+ years' experience who died falling off the roof of his house whilst doing DIY.

    Remember that the USA is a big place with areas that have seriously nasty terrain and not many people there - they called those areas of Nevada the Badlands for a reason. You might think that it'd be easier to find a crashed pilot in the USA than in, say, the Sahara Desert, but there's plenty of places where your chances aren't substantially different, especially if you're not in good shape after the crash.

  10. philip

    Obviously abducted

    Come on Nevadas not that big, surely his plane would have been spotted by now. I suspect he's been abducted by aliens though as they tend to buzz around that area a lot.

  11. Craig Edwards

    they can't tell us, its classified

    I have a more plausible theory than aliens.

    He wandered into restricted airspace north of las vegas and was shot down. This has been classified and the US government simply can't/won't tell us.

  12. b166er

    No beacon?

    And he left his rescue watch behind?

    Bit careless don't you think?

    Incinerated or abducted.

    Mine's the tin-foil balloon shaped hat

  13. Jay_rm

    Not that big ???

    Anybody who doubts this could happen (It's the USA ! It's only Nevada ! It's not that big) have obviously never been there (in Nevada).

    There are thousands of square miles that are completely desolate and almost impossible to travel into. Many aircraft have crashed there - only to be found years later by accident. If he truly did go down in there, I'm not surprised one bit they never located him.

    BTW, Fossett was very familiar with the Groom Lake area ("Area 51") as is everyone who flies in south Nevada and would never have gone anywhere near it (for a damn good reason <boom>)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear.

    > Anybody who doubts this could happen (It's the USA ! It's only Nevada ! It's not that big) have obviously never been there (in Nevada).

    Oh dear. They should have used [sarcasm]/[irony] tags.

  15. Matt Caldwell

    Addition to: Not that big ???

    Not only have they not been to Nevada, they don't have much experience/know much about aviation. General Aviation pilots don't have to wear a watch with a rescue beacon, most don't. Most planes do have an ELT (emergency transmitter) but debending on when the Citabra was manufactured it may not have had to have had one. Once active, the thing can't last too long anyway. Finally, even at 2000 foot above ground level things on the ground look very small. A 6000x100 foot runway looks like a popsicle stick about 3 feet away. Now keep that in mind and look for one very small aircraft smashed up somewhere in Nevada, which [i]is[/i] a big place and its very easy to assume they would probably not find him rather than that they would. Also, in a good part of the western US it is unsettled and so big that there is actually no ATC/radar coverage at all at the altitudes he probably would have been flying.

  16. Pyros
    Dead Vulture

    Another Addition to: Not that big ???

    "Anybody who doubts this could happen (It's the USA ! It's only Nevada ! It's not that big) have obviously never been there (in Nevada)."

    No kidding. I dare someone to find my brother's homestead out there. Even with the nearest little town's name, you couldn't tell from the map or from above.

    And he likes it that way, the sod.

    Dead bird for what you might find in the Nevada badlands.

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