Lyon crash site not Fossett's aircraft

The search for famed aviator Steve Fossett has turned up six previously undocumented crash sites around Nevada and California.

Most recently a crash site above Fort Churchill Road 1:25 p.m. today generated some excitement when emergency personnel did not recognize it as old.

Lyon County Undersheriff Joe Sanford said a Care Flight helicopter crew landed near the site and identified it as an aircraft last registered in Oregon in 1975.

Civil Air Patrol Maj. Cynthia Ryan said there are more than 150 crash sites logged in the search area.

"That we're finding so many crash sites is an indication of the search we're doing," she said. "We're putting the area under a microscope, so to speak."

Ryan said investigating the old sites would have to wait until the search for Fossett is complete.

Additional searchers will be available during the weekend to spell the ones who've worked through the week.

Sanford said search and rescue agencies from Lyon, Douglas, Mineral, Washoe and Mono counties are coordinating their efforts to provide additional personnel.

A search of Walker Lake will take several days, according to Trooper Chuck Allen of the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

Ryan said about half of the 17,000 square mile search area has been gone over during the five days since Fossett flew a 1980 Citabria Super Decathlon south from the Flying M Ranch in southeast Lyon County.

The ranch is owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton, grandfather of Paris Hilton.


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