Aviator and sailing adventurer Steve Fossett was reported missing Sept. 3 after failing to return to an airstrip at a Nevada ranch while piloting a light aircraft. According to reports, Fossett, flying solo, was scouting dry lake beds in the Nevada desert for use as a test site for his Spirit of America Sonic Arrow land racer. He was planning to target 800 mph with the vehicle and break the land speed record at the Bonneville salt flats.
A massive search of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Yerington, Nev., to Bishop, Calif., commenced.
Best known for his accomplishments in aviation, Fossett was also an accomplished sailor known for speed sailing. Between 1993 and 2004 he set 23 world records and nine distance race records. In 2004, Fossett set the world record for the fastest circumnavigation, 58 days, nine hours, aboard the maxi-catamaran Cheyenne, formerly Playstation.