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He wasn't trying any stunts and if any problems had come up he would have called for help. A person couldn't help but wonder that this guy could have been attacked by an inside man. Someone could have hid out on the plane and waited for take-off 2 jump him and take Mr. Fossett to another area and murder him. The guy would then camoflage the plane and leave the area with his henchmen if he has any.


How long can you fly in a plane like that on 4-5 hours of fuel. Did anyone check whether he refueled anywhere? Check credit card receipts? There are some dry river beds in Southern Arizona... could he be in Mexico border mountains. Some said he headed south. Is there a chance he does not want to be found? Maybe he has a relationship with a senorita somewhere? To add to the theories... this stuff is all over the news, why not him?

I heard on some news program they were looking into some leads. What does that mean in this case?


If you look at Google earth, you'll see that Area 51 is only at 125 to 200 miles of Yerington where he departed ... I believe that if he was indeed near or in that area he would be shot down instantly because they have the right to do it since it is a "secret" base ... I believe that my hypothesis is possible but unfortunately, if im right, we will probably never know it and the authorities will do a cover-up... That's the way things work in America! They lie whenever they want on patriotism back because they know the majority of the people won't question it because they have to work hard to live with dignity...


These conspiracy theories astound me.

Only the foolish thrive on ludicrous assumptions.

Let the facts be determined, and in the meantime, shut the f*** up.


Uum, no I say Aliens abducted him...

How on earth can people actually believe this type of wild speculations to be truthful or in any way interesting to people reading the article?


Aliens,consiracy, and U.F.O's aside, if he did get lost and wonder into the airforces' top secret test area, they could indeed shoot him down and we will not know because we simply dont need to as they see it. it is not conspiracy it is fact it is a test site they keep secret so the enemy cant counter our deffenses, go ahead and try to get on that base if you dont believe me, you wont be blog'n' no more!

Ron D

I assume the plane was equiped with an ELT, but they are often unuseable due to being landed in the dirt, or perhaps water. Today I read he had a Breitling ELT watch, since neither seems to transmiting a beacon this does not bode well for his safe return.

I hope he is, some how OK.

owen sullivan

Can anyone tell me why Steve was flying the equivalent of a model T Ford into Tiger country when he obviously has the resources to obtain any aircraft that he desired, please don't try to tell me how strong stable maneuverable forgiving & agile this good old plane is, I know they are a nice old aircraft to fly, the operative word being old!!!! the airframe was designed in the 1920s ( OK they now have an aluminum main spar ) and the engine that powers it was on the drawing board not long after, In 21st century terms the aircraft has the aerodynamics of a SWB Toyota Landcruser and an engine that would be more at home in a 1948 VW mmmmm cable brakes & 180hp maybe not, but I am sure you get my point.

What is going on ??? why is this rubbish still being produced ??? Cessna is still pumping out 172s 182s etc is that the best they can come up with after 60 years!!!!!, god help us!!! most of the equipment and systems found in light aircraft at most airports/fields was designed pre 1960 you would not even consider fitting any of it to your car at any price, but pilots are expected to operate this antiquated machinery in Tiger country.

Please don't get me wrong I think steve is a extraordinary aviator in my book he is right up there with the best of the best, I hope to god he is sitting under the wing right now wondering how long before the cavalry arrive, and possibly pondering on how to rectify all of the above.

owen sullivan

Sorry to blow it for you Mike, but you could not hide a ham sandwich inside steves aircraft never mind a man, it is a very small aircraft.


Owen Sullivan - your comment about not being able to hide a 'ham sandwich' in the plane is incorrect. He had two weeks worth of emergency food supplies in the plane. In my mind that would be more than a ham sandwich? Oh, you were joking I hear you say? Fair enough.

Johannes Grasser

It,s been 3 Days that Fossett is beeing missing !Why does it take the Rescue Team that long to find a Airplane and a VIP in the World?
Maybe they are all looking somewhere else,then where Fossett may crashed!

owen sullivan

Lets not get silly with each other here, my POINT IS!!!!! a man could not hide from the pilot in a Citabra super decathlon there is just nowhere to hide, now lets load in two weeks of food,a nav bag and a ham sandwich.

I must admit that I am getting more than a little concerned for Steve, I hope he makes it but it is not looking good.

Rob - Pilot

I am praying he is alive, but as a pilot I feel he hit some serious downdrafts in the mountains and foothills going in and out of the flat beds. A 180 horsepower engine at times is not match for a downdraft or rotor. My likely scenario is that he stalled trying to pull out a downdraft and crashed.

owen sullivan

Sad as it is ROB-Pilot I think you are right! The pile of sticks canvas & tin that Citabra claim to be an aircraft, would be no match for even light rotor winds, low wing loading and high winds dont mix well, just add 1920s engine and aerodynamics to really make life hard.
Why no flight plan or SAR watch???????????


Not uncommon to file flight plan. All a Flight Plan would have done is trigger the search and rescue when he was overdue. Typically Flight Plans - SAR and Flight following occur when you go from point A to Point B. Flight Following would have when he went down - but remember he was browsing through-out the area looking for long flat-beds to race a car. Flight following would not be likely grants for this type of flight plus the low-level flying involved. The big WHY? Is why was he looking for a long flat bed when there are plenty of areas known and used for such activity.

Ron D

Following up on Rob-Pilot's last comment, I wondered why go to some unused site for a LSR attempt and IF there are good reasons for it, then why fly to look it over? The initial viewing could be done on his laptop using satellite images, weed out the obvious bad ones and only deal with the remainig possibilities.

Hank Smith

I'm a flight instructor of nearly 30 years. I recently worked on a case as an expert witness where information on the flight involved in an accident came from a satellite. Why haven't SAR staff tried to get satellite information to track this aircraft from takeoff to landing/accident site? Also, since I'm not familiar with the area where the landing/accident may have happened, are there any lakes or beds of mud or quicksand that may appear from the air to be dry lake beds? Had the pilot attempted to land on what he thought was a dry lake bed that wasn't and sunk in that would explain no ELT and no sign of the pilot or aircraft. Just a thought. Best Wishes, Hank

Hank Smith

I believe that Mr. Fossett was flying a light general aviation aircraft because it suited his purpose to find a dry river bed. Also, most anyone who is a pilot enjoys flying. A small aircraft like a Citaborea (aerobatic spelled backwards) super decathlon would be the perfect plane for a thrill seeker like Steve. I think that it makes perfect sense that he may have gotten caught in a downdraft near a mountain that exceeded the capabilities of his aircraft to climb out of. But, then why didn't the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) go off assuming one was installed. That's why I came to the conclusion that he attempted to land and possibly sunk in. The reason Cessna and other manufacturers aren't very innovative is product liability. By staying with tried and true (and dependable) designs companies like Cessna and Piper can now avoid losing frivolous product liability cases thanks to laws inacted in the not so distant past. I hope and pray that Mr. Fossett shows up to share what happened with all of us. In the meantime God's speed to those involved in the search and rescue. Hank


Satellite imagery is being used - there is an overlay from a Geoeye KLM satellite that can be loaded into Google Earth, and amazon is organizing the search via Mechanical Turk: http://www.mturk.com/mturk/preview?groupId=9TSZK4G35XEZJZG21T60&kw=Flash

As for answers to why we are still flying aircraft designed in the '60s - the certification process for new designs is too costly - so new aircraft certs go to airframes that will make the most money for the manufacturer; airline transports.

Owen Sullivan

I agree with you Hank the super decathlon would be the perfect plane for a thrill seeker like Steve, if he was just out for a jolly fair enough, but if he did fly off into tiger county in that antiquated crate without so much as a SAR watch !!! just be thankfull that the second seat was empty.
Bozo I also agree with you, the certification process for new designs is too costly, that is something that we must address before GA bites the dust.

Owen Sullivan

I agree with you Hank the super decathlon would be the perfect plane for a thrill seeker like Steve, if he was just out for a jolly fair enough, but if he did fly off into tiger county in that antiquated crate without so much as a SAR watch !!! just be thankfull that the second seat was empty.
Bozo I also agree with you, the certification process for new designs is too costly, that is something that we must address before GA bites the dust.

Owen Sullivan

Sorry Hank S, I did say Cessna 172 but I was trying to point out the lack of development in the world !! US product liability laws are only a local aberration, I know that Americans think the universe spins around Washington DC, but to the rest of the world you are 5% of the population, consuming 25% of the oil, and generating 90% of the worlds conflict!!! before you get angry with me check the figures I am only pointing out the facts, anyway I digress, I take your point and I think you are right America does seem to have painted itself into a legal corner that has stifled light aircraft development in the US, and there seems to be no improvement in sight, so scratch the USA looks like we will get nothing but grief from them, so what about the rest of us the other 95% has anyone got a excuse for France, Germany, England ????? I will give an exemption to Switzerland they are at least trying with the Avanti, it not a light aircraft but it certainly demonstrates that aerodynamics have come a long way since 1965.I am very disappointed with Bert Rutan and others who did notice that aerodynamics is not a black art, and there is a better way to design aircraft, I thought that they might be the ones to bring safe efficient flying within the reach of the average mortal, alas they lost the plot when money became more important than flying, millionaires in space ???? why not its as good a place as any for them. as for Bert !!!! I wonder if he remembers the lust he had to fly before money became the name of the game.
Things are not looking to good for Steve at the moment the clock is really ticking now, no ELT signal and nothing from his trick watch its not looking good, but I live in hope for his safe return,


Here is why they are not hearing the ELT. Also, good theory that he may have sunk in a dry-bead that was not dry. I believe but can be wrong that some of these dry beds can actually be lower than seal level- mix that with an underground spring of water and you could have a problem. My original theory holds though - stall in a down draft or rotor.

ELTs were the first emergency beacons developed and most U.S. civil aircraft are required to carry them. ELTs were intended for use on the 121.5 MHz frequency to alert aircraft flying overhead. Obviously, a major limitation to these is that another aircraft must be within range and listening to 121.5 MHz to receive the signal. One of the reasons the Cospas-Sarsat system was developed was to provide a better receiving source for these signals. Another reason was to provide location data for each activation (something that overflying aircraft were unable to do).
Different types of ELTs are currently in use. There are approximately 170,000 of the older generation 121.5 MHz ELTs in service. Unfortunately, these have proven to be highly ineffective. They have a 97% false alarm rate, activate properly in only 12% of crashes, and provide no identification data. In order to fix this problem 406 MHz ELTs were developed to work specifically with the Cospas-Sarsat system. These ELTs dramatically reduce the false alert impact on SAR resources, have a higher accident survivability success rate, and decrease the time required to reach accident victims by an average of 6 hours.

Presently, most aircraft operators are mandated to carry an ELT and have the option to choose between either a 121.5 MHz ELT or a 406 MHz ELT. The Federal Aviation Administration has studied the issue of mandating carriage of 406 MHz ELTs. The study indicates that 134 extra lives and millions of dollars in SAR resources could be saved per year. The only problem is that 406 MHz ELTs currently cost about $1,500 and 121.5 MHz ELTs cost around $500. It's easy to see one reason for the cost differential when you look at the numbers.However, no one can argue the importance of 406 MHz ELTs and the significant advantages they hold.

For more information on the differences between 121.5 MHz Beacons and 406 MHz beacons click to view a Comparison.

Due to the obvious advantages of 406 MHz beacons and the significant disadvantages to the older 121.5 MHz beacons, the International Cospas-Sarsat Program have made a decision to phaseout 121.5 MHz satellite alerting on February 1st, 2009. All pilots are highly encouraged both by NOAA and by the FAA to consider making the switch to 406!


Maybe he just wanted to leave his life as he knew it - perhaps an elaborate hoax?


No offense intended, but do any of you people actually READ the news? News changes over time and apparently some of you are still stuck on what was originally reported. That was two weeks ago. Read CURRENT articles PLEASE?! Steve DID NOT have any ELT equipment onboard, watch or otherwise. He WAS NOT looking for dry lake beds. One has already been chosen. HE WAS SIGHTSEEING, period. His last known position is said to have been south of Lake Walker and southwest of Hawthorne and he was headed EAST at 10:30 am. A witness camping on Sonora Pass the day Steve went missing claims to have seen a small aircraft go over and then heard what sounded like an explosion. You're going on and on and on about ELT's and such as that and all of it is COMPLETELY irrelevent. Stunts...mud....conspiracy...stowaways...credit card receipts....sheesh. HIS PLANE CRASHED. He didn't leave. He wasn't abducted by aliens. He didn't fly over a military site and get blown out of the sky. He wasn't murdered by someone who hid out in his plane.(but that's by far the best one yet) He didn't sink in quicksand either. Here's a plausible explanation for you to talk about. The poor man likely had a heart attack. He was immediately rendered incapacitated or unconscious. That would explain the lack of radio transmission. The plane continued it's course, which would have been low, as long as it could until the side of a mountain got in it's way. Plane hits a vertical slope at full speed. It explodes. There wouldn't be much of a plane such as that left. The debris loosened from the impact, further up that vertical slope, covered what remained of most of the surviving evidence. POOF....Gone.

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