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DNA Confirms Steve Fossett Died in Plane Crash

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Madera County, CAIt is true what they say, that you never hear about the planes that stay in the air. You just hear about the plane crashes. And there are a myriad of commercial and private planes in the air every day, and there are those who do a lot of flying with little, or no negative impact. Just look at the number of miles the two contenders for the just-completed US Presidential election logged in the lead-up to the November 4th vote. Probably millions of miles between them.

And yet planes will come down, and they will sometimes fail the most experienced of pilots.

Small PlaneIt was confirmed yesterday, for example, that human remains found at a crash site believed to be that of lost adventurer Steve Fossett are, indeed those of the missing pilot. DNA testing confirmed as much on Monday. It was just over a year ago, on September 3rd 2007 that Fossett took off from a ranch in Northern Nevada in a two-seater light aircraft, but never returned.

It has since been determined that the crash which claimed Fossett's life, into a remote area of the Inyo National Forest in east-central California, must have been hard and violent, given the condition of what was left of the plane, and Fossett's remains. Portions of human bone, which were determined, through DNA testing to be that of the doomed adventurer, were found about a half-mile from the actual crash site.

It is not known if he attempted to eject from the plane, dragged himself from the crash site in search of help, or if the bones were dragged away by an animal.

Nonetheless, the discovery of Fossett's plane, some of his belongings and his remains brings closure for the family, which will have to wait until next year for the National Transportation Safety Board to conclude its investigation of the crash, and attempt to determine the cause.

There is much speculation as to the cause, given Mr. Fossett's experience as a pilot.

In comparison, it is not known just how experienced the occupants were of a small plane that crashed in the Longridge area of West Canyon in Utah County during the week leading up to Halloween.

Witnesses report seeing a plane doing acrobatic maneuvers in the air before crashing into a field north of Cedar Fort in Utah County. Smoke was seen coming from the crash site, and investigators dispatched to the crash site came upon the downed plane with two bodies still inside the wreckage.

It has been reported that the plane likely originated from Salt Lake County Airport #2.

Literally a week after the crash it would be too early to tell if the plane crash was caused by equipment malfunction, or pilot error. However, if witnesses did, indeed see the plane doing acrobatic maneuvers in the sky, one could then conclude that the pilot was sufficiently experienced to attempt that level of flying, and that the plane was properly designed and equipped for such activity. Acrobatic maneuvers require a well-maintained plane, and a pilot who knows how a plane would behave structurally, and the expected or potential behavior of the engine, within the context of such specialized flying that carries a higher risk.

What comes up must come down. And sometimes it goes badly. Steve Fossett, for example, was alone in his plane. However, the plane crash noted above in Utah involved two people. Were the pilot to have bitten off more than he could chew, such an error not only cost the pilot his life, but that of his passenger.


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