As I write these words, Steve Fossett has still not been found. He has been missing since Labor Day when he left a small airfield in Nevada for a quick scouting trip, looking for places to land for another one of his daring adventures. He didn't even file a flight plan, he only planned on being gone for a short few.
He was suppose to be back at noon and when he wasn't, his friends went looking for him. It wasn't until after 6PM that evening that they decided they needed help. By the next morning, there was a all out search for him. Because there was no flight plan and the ping that should have sent signals from his aircraft, never materialized. No place to start - they would start charting a search path that would include a 10,000 sq mile grid - the size of New Hampshire with rough, rocky terrain.
From the very first press conference, they emphasized Mr Fossett's ability to take care of himself. It was almost as they felt, nothing could have happened to him . One of his friends even said he was sure that Fossett was waiting by his plane, just waiting to be picked up. I only know what I have seen about this interesting fellow. He has broke all kinds of records -around the world without stopping. Hot air balloons and land speed records. They also say that he was not a daredevil. He was not reckless and didn't play chicken. After a week of tracking his disappearance, I feel like I know him and that he will be found...but as the days go on, it gets harder and tougher to feel encouraged.
Whatever his personal outcome, the love and faith that his community has shared with the rest of us, has been inspiring. This man has the love and admiration of so many people. Everyone wants to help search - they are taking tips and helps on his website. In the air and on the ground, I saw one pilot state adamantly that, Today was the day. we are going to find him today.
It's not what they say about you when you're dead that counts but what they know and depend on, when you are alive. God speed, Mr Fossett - we have lived out your legacy the last week. Keeping the faith, baby!