Searchers looking for world record holder Steve Fossett |

Searchers looking for world record holder Steve Fossett

by Kurt Hildebrand

Searchers are looking for world aviation record holder Steve Fossett, who was reported missing Monday night.

Fossett, 63, was last seen taking off from the Hilton Ranch south of Smith Valley in a single engine Citabria Super Decathlon heading south.

Civil Air Patrol Nevada Wing Mission Public Information Officer Maj. Cynthia S. Ryan said three crews are in the air looking for Fossett’s blue and white aircraft and that more are on the way.

“We will be launching more shortly,” she said.

The search area covers hundreds of square miles of rugged terrain. The Civil Air Patrol has called area airports looking for Fossett.

Fossett made the first solo nonstop, non-refueled circumnavigation of the world in 67 hours in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. In 2002 he was the first person to solo around the world in a balloon. He holds several world soaring records, according to his Web site,

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He was in Sparks in August preparing a jet racer to break the land speed record at Bonneville Flats.

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