November 3, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Steve Fossett in 2006. Photo: NASA
Newly discovered bone fragments found at the crash site of adventurer Steve Fossett Oct. 29 are now confirmed by DNA testing to be the remains of Fossett.
To make certain a thorough search was conducted before the winter season set in, three Madera County Sheriff’s deputies along with five volunteers from the Mono County Sheriff’s search and rescue team returned to the site one last time on Oct. 29. Before the day was over the recovery team found a number of items which include: skeletal remains (bones), a pair of tennis shoes, credit cards and Steve Fossett’s Illinois state driver’s license.
There were no remains found when searches combed through the crash site on Oct. 2, although they did extract what initially appeared to be a single bone fragment that day. On the following day search crews found three more thumbnail-sized specimens after the wreckage of the plane had been removed. An anthropologist analyzed pieces discovered that day along with the first four fragments found earlier in the month. He was able to rule out all but two.
Fossett disappeared on a flight in September 2007.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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