Aviator Steve Fossett Missing; Search Under Way

About Steve Fossett

Fossett earned his millions in the financial services industry before becoming a record-breaking adventurer. He holds three records for circumnavigating the globe — in a sailing vessel, balloon and airplane:

  • In 2002, became the first hot air balloonist to fly solo around the world, nonstop.
  • In 2004, set the record for the fastest trip around the world on a sailing vessel, completing the journey in 58 days.
  • In 2005, became the first person to circle the globe solo, nonstop and without refueling, in an airplane.
  • Has set 116 records in balloons, airplanes, gliders, airships and sailboard.
  • Between 1993 and 2004, set 23 official world records in sailing, 11 of which still stand.
  • Has competed in endurance sports events including Alaska's Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the Ironman Triathlon, and the English Channel swim.
  • Has climbed more than 400 mountain peaks, including Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro.

Adventurer millionaire Steve Fossett, who has traveled around the world breaking a number of flight records, is missing. Federal officials say his small plane vanished in western Nevada on Monday, and a search effort is under way.

Fossett made his millions working in securities in Chicago, but adventure is his love. He has climbed mountains, competed in the Iditarod dog sled race and made history flying around the world in airplanes and balloons.

On Monday, he took off in a small single-engine plane from a private airstrip about 70 miles southeast of Reno, Nev., and didn't return as scheduled.

Civil Air Patrol teams began searching for him after a friend reported him missing. Maj. Cynthia Ryan says 13 aircraft teams are conducting grid searches over hundreds of square miles.

In 1995, Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon. In 2002, he went even farther, becoming the first person to fly around the world in a balloon. He called it an enormous relief:

"I've put everything into this; all my efforts, all of my skills. I've taken the risk associated with this over this long period of time, and finally, after six flights, you know — I've succeeded. And it's a very satisfying experience," he said.

Two years ago, Fossett set another record: He became the first to fly a plane solo around the world without refueling. This summer, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

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