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Fossett's Plane Found


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rescue crews have found the wreckage of a small plane that appears to be the one piloted by adventurer Steve Fossett when he disappeared in September 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.


The NTSB, which has sent an investigator to the accident site in the rugged eastern California mountains, did not say anything about finding remains of Fossett's body.


Fossett, 63, vanished in a single-engine Bellanca plane after taking off from the airstrip of hotel magnate Barron Hilton's ranch in Nevada. He did not file a flight plan but friends said he was going on a casual pleasure flight.


The NTSB said in a statement the small airplane found on Wednesday "appears to be the aircraft piloted by Steve Fossett."


His Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon, a plane capable of aerobatics, had enough fuel for four or five hours of flight.


When Fossett did not return, a massive search was launched for the adventurer who held several aviation and sailing records.


The plane wreckage was located about 10,000 feet up the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes, California.


The fact that safety board officials were dispatched to the scene and would comment publicly on the plane indicates a strong likelihood that it was Fossett's.

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