US adventurer Steve Fossett dead

February 16th, 2008 - 12:55 pm ICT by admin  

Los Angeles, Feb 16 (Xinhua) US adventurer Steve Fossett, who set 116 world records in sailboats, powered aircraft, balloons, airships and gliders, has died. The multimillionaire aviation and sailing world record holder had been missing since taking off alone in a single-engine plane from a private Nevada airstrip in early September, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Fossett was declared dead by an Illinois court Friday. He was 63.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Malak ruled that there was sufficient evidence to declare Fossett dead after he heard testimony from Fossett’s wife Peggy as well as an expert on search and rescue operations, said the paper.

Fossett’s wife first petitioned the court Nov 27 to declare Fossett dead - a step toward resolving the legal status of Fossett’s estate, which was described in court papers as “vast, surpassing eight figures in liquid assets, various entities and real estate”.

The Fossetts had been married since the late 1960s. Fossett was the first person to fly a balloon solo around the world and was the first pilot to circle the globe solo in an aircraft without stopping or refuelling.

Fossett was reported missing after taking off on what he had said would be a short morning flight. Then he was reported missing in the Nevada desert. Days of search turned to be fruitless.

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