Various news sources are reporting that Steve Fosset is missing. A man famous for his adventuring in a wide array of venues, Mr Fosset holds world records for such things as having logged more flight miles than any other pilot, being the first man to fly a plane around the world solo without refueling, and being the first person to fly a balloon around the world solo. He took off from a private airfield on Monday morning in a single engine plane, and was reported missing Monday evening when he did not return.
For a person who has set more than a hundred records for a whole host of things, some sixty of which remain unbroken, this flight was just part of an ongoing search for further challenges. Mr Fosset seems to have taken this flight in an attempt to locate a dry lake bed that could be used to test a vehicle in which he apparently hopes to set the world land speed record. Flying from a private airfield in Nevada and using visual navigation, he was not required to file a flight plan, which has made locating him more difficult.
There are apparently some thirteen aircraft involved in a grid search for Mr Fosset. His plane is equipped with a beacon that can be picked up by satellite, though the Civil Air Patrol, which is coordinating the search efforts, is refusing to comment on whether they have picked up any signals from the beacon. They are also examining radar returns from the area in an attempt to determine where the plane might have been. The area in which he was flying contains numerous dry lake beds and other flat areas in which he might have easily made an emergency landing in the event of a mishap.
We at the Buffet wish Mr Fosset a safe and speedy return. I know that I have followed with interests his exploits for years in his various attempts to circumnavigate the world in a balloon and his numerous record-setting sailing expeditions. I look forward to an attempt at the world land speed record, as well.
-posted by Mark