Fossett 'may never be found'
Search continues for missing adventurer
A police officer involved in the search for adventurer Steve Fossett - who went missing last Monday after taking off from hotelier Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch, roughly 70 miles southeast of Reno, Nevada - has admitted he "may never be found", the BBC reports.
Forty-five aircraft have scoured an area of 10,000 square miles in an attempt to pinpoint Fossett's presumably crashed Bellanca Citabria Super Decathalon. In the process, they have discovered the remains of six other aircraft, but no sign of Fossett.
One sighting south-east of the Flying M Ranch intially raised hopes that he might have been located, but it turned out to be a false alarm. Nevada Civil Air Patrol Major Cynthia Ryan admitted: "Once again, you had your hopes raised and dashed."
Although Lyon County Undersheriff Joe Sanford told AP there was "a possibility - that he may never be found", he remained optimistic, offering: "With the resources and assets we have, I feel comfortable we'll find the plane in the near-term. Whether it'll be by us, a hunter or a skier, we'll find it. I like to believe the glass is half full."
The search process has been made considerably more difficult by the fact that Fossett didn't file a flight plan for his jaunt to reccy possible locations for an attempt on the land speed record. He did, however, have "full radio capability", but has ominously not made contact. ®
.........why didnt anyone mention that fact the Aliens took him and thats why there is no trace?
...............did, you not see that docu-rama called "Close Encounters of The Third Kind"
Re : "Mr. Finnbar: I don't agree with you assessment of spy optics"
"That's impressive for the date. Imagine what they CAN see today."
So what you mean is, you don't know, so you're going to guess that they really CAN do what you've seen in the movies? Just because it had that resolution 25 years ago MUST mean that it's now better? Why? Perhaps that WAS the limit of the resolution?
When the electron microscope was developed, some thought it only a matter of time before we'd be able to look at magnifications in the tens of millions. We can't. Why? BECAUSE THERE'S A LIMIT TO THE RESOLUTION. Duh!.
I can imagine I'm invisible and can fly too, but it doesn't make it true.
Of course, if you are an expert in spy satellite optical equipment, feel free to divulge all.
Reality of searching for airplane crashes
1) 121.5 MHz ELT's are generally know as hard landing detectors. The time spent hunting down which hangar contains the beaconing ELT has been an amusing way to spend an afternoon for many a CAP patrol. In mountainous terrain, the signal bounces too efficiently causing hotspots that are highly misleading. They also depend on external antennas that may not survive being scrubbed off the airframe. If the airplane burns, you might only have minutes before the unit is incinerated.
2) Rattling on about using hight technology that is capable of detecting "airplane shaped objects" is pretty telling, You've never had to search for a Cessna tinfoil ball in mountainous terrain. A tube frame Aeronca or Bellanca just might have enough of the "airplane shaped object" left over if it lands just right but controlled flight into terrain also says that it probably won't survive in much of its original shape either. You might be better off looking for burned, dark sooty areas that contrast against a lighter background.
3) Depending on where this thing landed, it may be covered by overgrowth. Two of the searches I was involved with were not solved by ELT direction finding or aerial searches. One was solved because a sheriff's deputy had an aha moment and drove directly to the crash site where he found the burned pine tree and undergrowth that the plane landed in after clipping a tree 60 feet off the ground. The other where the ELT actually activated was found because someone noticed a churned patch of brush above a road with upon closer inspection, the remains of a Mooney that had flown under full power into the hillside. ELT signal was being wave guided to a major hotspot 5 miles from where the person totally uninvolved with the search found the plane.
4) Its the small, familiar things that do us in. Steve flew around the world after much planning in known dangerous conditions. He knew the life threatening risks involved and took precautions. And a short jaunt in the back yard scouting around proved to be much more dangerous than all that had passed before. He didn't file a flight plan that day because it was simple, routine flight which, barring mechanical failure, seemingly held little more risk than flying from one airport to another only 30 miles away. Just like you don't plan on dieing just from a simple drive down to the supermarket.