The US National Transportation Safety Board discovered body parts amid the wreckage of pilot and adventurer Steve Fossett's Bellanca Super Decathlon on 2 October after the aircraft was found on a mountainside near Mammoth Lakes, California the day before. Fossett disappeared on the morning of 3 September 2007 after he departed a Nevada airstrip on a 2-2.5h pleasure flight. Investigators had sent the remains for DNA testing.

A hiker found Fossett's pilot's licence, some cash and other items on 29 September and searchers two days later discovered the aircraft 400m (1,300ft) away. It appears that Fossett slammed into the tree-covered mountains at the 10,150ft level in September 2007 after flying to the area from the ranch where he had been vacationing 105km (55nm) to the north. A massive search over the month that followed covered 57,000km2 (22,000 miles2).

The Civil Air Patrol reports that hundreds of volunteers had participated in the search, even spending 65h during 32 sorties in the area where the aircraft was found. However "rugged, mountainous, tree-covered terrain gave CAP less than a 10% probability of detecting debris from the wreckage during aerial flyovers", says a search co-ordinator.

The NTSB plans to analyse the recovered portions of the aircraft to determine a probable cause of the accident.

Source: Flight International