The Bellanca Decathlon flown by Steve Fossett on the day he disappeared in September 2007 has been found in California, rather than in Nevada where past searches have concentrated. Late on Oct. 2, NTSB investigators said that a small amount of human remains was found in the aircraft, adding that it would be enough for a coroner to examine.
Fossett disappeared on a flight from the Flying M Ranch near Yerington, Nev., reportedly made to locate a flat desert area where he could set a new land speed record.
The aircraft was located well across the California border in Madera County, a mountainous region with terrain above 9,000 feet, according to a tour operator in the area. A hiker exploring an off-trail area near Red’s Meadow Oct. 1 found cash, a pilot’s certificate with Fossett’s name on it, a Soaring Society of America membership card with Fossett’s name, and a badly weathered sporting license issued by the National Aeronautic Association. The association issues licenses to those seeking to set world records. The crash site is part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness and is close to the Devil’s Postpile National Monument.
According to AOPA
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