Record-setting aviator Steve Fossett was seen flying his small aircraft at very low altitudes on Sept. 3, 2007, the day he disappeared near Yerington, Nev., the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday.
No trace of Fossett or the Bellanca 8KCAB-180 (Super Decathlon), N240R, that he was piloting have been found, despite intensive searches by law enforcement and military personnel and numerous volunteers. He was declared legally dead Feb. 15, 2008.
In a "Factual Report" posted on NTSB´s Web site, investigators said Fossett had breakfast with the chief pilot of The Flying M Hunting Club on the morning he disappeared. Asked what he wanted to do that day, Fossett replied that he wanted to fly the Flying M´s Super Decathlon. The chief pilot subsequently removed the aircraft from its T-hangar at the private strip and confirmed that it was full of fuel. Fossett arrived at the airport about 0815 and conducted a preflight inspection of the aircraft in the presence of the chief pilot. The chief pilot said he reviewed the starting procedures for the fuel-injected engine and asked Fossett where he was going. The pilot responded that he was heading south to Highway 395, which runs north-south through Owens Valley.
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