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RiverAux
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« Reply #100 on: October 09, 2008, 11:34:30 PM »

Quote
The fact of the matter is that if Fossett hadn't been rich and famous the search would have lasted for a 3-4 days maximum. with no difference in the outcome.
No, it probably would have gone a week or two, which is not at all unusual for CAP.  CAP approached this mission exactly as it would have for anyone.  It was all the other agencies that jumped on board and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars that were not following their normal protocols. 
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bosshawk
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« Reply #101 on: October 10, 2008, 12:12:05 AM »

For those who are jumping on the bandwagon of his not having filed a flight plan: have you ever filed a flight plan when you didn't know exactly where you were going?  It is absurd to try to file a flight plan that essentially says: I'm  going over yonder and fly around for awhile and then go somewhere else and fly around for awhile.  You file a flight plan from point to point or you file for a particular area for a specified time.  Really doesn't work for a flight where one is going to just wander around, enjoying the scenery.  The real big question in my mind is why did he head up into the mountains?  That certainly was the opposite direction from his takeoff point.

BTW: from looking at the photos and from what I know about the terrain, it is almost certain that none of the crash site could have been identified from 1000 ft AGL: which is the standard CAP search altitude.  I understand that the Huey which extracted the little bit of wreckage had a hard time finding the site on his second trip into the area.  Identified it by the orange shirts on the search crew.

For the sake of credibility, I have about 300 hours searching in those mountains.

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Paul M. Reed
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Former CAP Lt Col
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D242
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« Reply #102 on: October 10, 2008, 01:05:55 AM »

Quote
The fact of the matter is that if Fossett hadn't been rich and famous the search would have lasted for a 3-4 days maximum. with no difference in the outcome. 


I have to disagree with that, and agree with RiverAux. The last search I was on lasted for two weeks, and the find was made only a few hours before AFRCC was going to pull the plug. Similarly, the pilot had used no transponder, and not even talked to ATC after takeoff. He may have filed; I don't recall specifically, but his intended destination was known. He was neither rich nor famous.

Quote
What I'm saying is that Fosset was unfindable for all the above reasons.


That may be entirely true. We didn't know that for certain until just a short time ago, and we certainly didn't know it last year on Labor Day.

Quote
That if he had used common practices like filing a flight plan the wreck may have been found sooner. I'm also saying that he screwed up royally that day and that whatever mistakes were made didn't have any effect on his survival. 

The wreck may have been found sooner had he filed. Maybe not.

What bothers me about what I've read here, is that an important piece of information, that may have led to finding the wreck sooner, was apparently mishandled between two CAP wings and any other agencies involved, and that your comment doesn't seem to acknowlege the problem that indicates. What if the next guy that fails to file a flightplan survives the crash? Do you let him bleed to death out there because he didn't "follow common practices", or do you take the lessons you learned here and try to improve your performance?

I don't see anything in your posts, either the first one I quoted, or your most recent reply, that indicates that you've considered that the possibility existed during the search, that he was alive, and that the shortcomings in the command of the search might've allowed him to die. You just reiterated that it was he who screwed up, and justified that by pointing out that the end result would be the same.

When I joined CAP, and when I answered the call to go and search, it wasn't just to find those who'd been diligent enough to do everything right. It was to try and save somebody's life, period.

I've defended CAP at other places on the internet, to critics who see CAP in the same light as "Civilain Pilot". I haven't defended you as flawless, but as much as I felt was justified. I'm now wondering whether they're more right in their criticsm than I gave them credit for... Spacing - MIKE
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 03:14:25 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
D242
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« Reply #103 on: October 10, 2008, 01:23:33 AM »

Quote
The real big question in my mind is why did he head up into the mountains?  That certainly was the opposite direction from his takeoff point.

I'm no longer in CAP, so I can say this without getting myself or anyone else in trouble...

Maybe, given the same set of circumstances, and motivations that were cited as possibily indicating he faked his own death (no flight plan, no survival gear, no ELT watch, etc., and financial troubles, marital troubles, whatever...), maybe he intended to never return. High speed, hard impact into terrain by a highly experienced pilot.

Maybe it was a suicide.

Don't anybody agree with me. I don't want to see anyone getting into trouble. And it's only wild speculation on my part.

But think about it....
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Pumbaa
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« Reply #104 on: October 10, 2008, 02:08:42 AM »

Maybe it was a suicide.

Unless he left a letter or told someone, there is only one person who knows the truth, and that is buried with him... but like everything that is a valid hypothesis.
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highplanesdrifter
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« Reply #105 on: October 10, 2008, 03:14:29 AM »

Bosshawk,
you are absolutely correct about a flight plan. Heck, for low flying pilots, the Eastern Sierra Jet Streams determine your final destination (and Steve Fossett knew that).

D242 & Pumbaa,

Here's my hypothesis: ( I have also trekked this region since 1968)
 On September 3, 2007, who was witness to a low flyby in the Devils Post Pile quadrangle? Did anyone hear the plane or see the flash fire (and smoke from 2 dozen scorched pines) from within a 4 mi. radius of one of the most popular walkabout hiking destinations?

Is September 3, 2007 that actual Date of Fate?

BTW, how do a stack of C notes & I.D.'s withstand (and commune) for 13 months in extreme conditions @ 10,000 ft elev?
 
If animals are to blame, then the Den or Lair (& Steve) cannot be far away.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #106 on: October 10, 2008, 03:48:42 AM »

BTW, how do a stack of C notes & I.D.'s withstand (and commune) for 13 months in extreme conditions @ 10,000 ft elev?

The pilot certificate was laminated. They do pretty well going through the laundry, so just being outside probably wouldn't be too much worse.

Money is pretty rugged stuff, being cotton and linen based, vice the cellulose of normal paper. The money from the D.B. Cooper hijacking lasted in the Oregon woods over 8 years.
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Dave Bowles
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wingnut55
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« Reply #107 on: October 10, 2008, 04:08:31 AM »

I think we should just contract with "TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE" for all our SAR and Homeland Security Missions, it would be much Cheaper, and they have cool Uniforms, and they would have found him within hours or just blown up the mountain looking
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BobAnita1
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« Reply #108 on: October 10, 2008, 04:25:29 AM »

To those who believe that Steve Fossett didn't need to file a flight plan and acted responsibly, consider these facts:

1.  He was not very familiar with the area he was flying in.

2.  He was not very familiar with the type of airplane he flew.

3.  He was not, despite his world records and soaring experience, very familiar and adept at mountain flying, and in particular, the Sierras.

4.  He was flying low and slow, in mountains.  While mothers way caution their sons and daughters "Don't go too high or too fast" pilots know that that's the safest way to fly.  

5.  Weather in the Sierras changes unpredictably, and while there are reports of sunny weather in the morning when he departed, we're reading now of reports of thunderheads where he crashed.

6.  The aircraft he was flying wasn't designed to fly cross-country.  It's horsepower and weight were probably about half of the single engine Bonanza that I fly.  At 10,000 feet, it's performance was marginal at best.  To cross those mountains where he crashed he should have been at least 12,000 and probably at his age on oxygen.  

7.  He should have filed a flight plan for the portion of the flight where he knew he was going, or obtained flight following for whatever portion that ATC had radar coverage, or told someone responsible his route of flight.  I loved watching Sky King as a boy, but the idea of just taking off and flying over the Sierras with no flight planning is television.

I will never set any world records.  But I can tell you this.  When I fly with my family over the Sierras, (1) I fly in a Bonanza which is a high performance airplane that I am familiar with and know its flight characteristics, (2) I make sure the weather is good and the winds are no more than 25 kts, (3) I fly high, at least 2,000 feet over the mountains, and (4) I file a flight plan or obtain flight following for as much of the flight as I can.  To do otherwise would be reckless, which is what Mr. Fossett was as he apparently was flying low and slow in mountains with gusts and down currents, in an airplane that was underpowered and too light weight for heavy duty cross country mountain flying, without telling anyone where he was going.  

Bob
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heliodoc
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« Reply #109 on: October 10, 2008, 05:53:00 AM »

After reading more of these posts

I come to the realization they are alot of other (CAP or not) pilots that are not doing the agency blame game like a few here

The pilots with the experience can teach ALOT to us folks who aren't mountain drivers...

I, being a pilot , in CAP, former Emergency Management type  can see the merits of the folks not blaming the agencies and telling us the other facts.

Here's one fact for you CAP'ers stilll bent on agency bashing......  Apparently CAP has had its day in the dirt on this mission and apparently not all were playing with a full deck nor playing well with each other.

Let this be a lessons learned for all involved and if CAP members continue to blame "other agencies" and volunteers, just remember when you siut up for the next mission... this may be a EM, Sheriff, or other agency driven search, pilots with or without a flight plan, a pilot with plenty or none at all mountain flight experience.

CAP best start doing it best to work with others.... apparently some in CA and NV have some learnin' to do
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Johnny Yuma
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« Reply #110 on: October 10, 2008, 08:59:23 PM »

After reading more of these posts

I come to the realization they are alot of other (CAP or not) pilots that are not doing the agency blame game like a few here

The pilots with the experience can teach ALOT to us folks who aren't mountain drivers...

I, being a pilot , in CAP, former Emergency Management type  can see the merits of the folks not blaming the agencies and telling us the other facts.

Here's one fact for you CAP'ers stilll bent on agency bashing......  Apparently CAP has had its day in the dirt on this mission and apparently not all were playing with a full deck nor playing well with each other.

Let this be a lessons learned for all involved and if CAP members continue to blame "other agencies" and volunteers, just remember when you siut up for the next mission... this may be a EM, Sheriff, or other agency driven search, pilots with or without a flight plan, a pilot with plenty or none at all mountain flight experience.

CAP best start doing it best to work with others.... apparently some in CA and NV have some learnin' to do

Again, CAP needs to learn to fix it's own issues before casting stones at others.

Starting with the issue of one wing not being able to use another Wing's repeaters during the mission.
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" Skip a bit, brother."
 
"And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take out the holy pin. Then shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. "Three" shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. "Four" shalt thou not count, and neither count thou two, execpting that thou then goest on to three. Five is RIGHT OUT. Once the number three, being the third number be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade to-wards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuffit. Amen."

Armaments Chapter One, verses nine through twenty-seven:
wingnut55
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355

« Reply #111 on: October 11, 2008, 05:18:11 AM »

Well now

I was wondering when that was going to be brought up?

If you remember our efficiency in the grid was probably diminished 30% because we had to many times leave the grid and pop up to an altitude that the high bird could hear us on the freq. many times the high Bird went behind a peak or we did and it got nasty, 30 minute check-in time. We had some real nasty issues that has yet to be addressed.  Many of us are really disenchanted with an obvious lack of leadership from national on these types of issues.  I am surprised (Pleasantly) that we did not lose an aircrew. Yet have a wing 'Miss spend"  $1,000 in training funds and heads will role. It makes me sick.
I am not throwing arrows at one wing, I flew for a week in another State and our radio could not work in that state (simplex) it seemed their radio Freq was not the same, and before anyone gets mad at me we had a plane from NM that could not communicate either.
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ThorntonOL
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« Reply #112 on: October 12, 2008, 10:27:36 PM »

does anyone know whether ot not they have identified the remains yet?
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Former 1st Lt. Oliver L. Thornton
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« Reply #113 on: October 17, 2008, 06:53:58 PM »

Interesting series of photos from some folks at the crash scene...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockwellb/sets/72157607737959209/show/

That's some pretty rugged terrain there, and judging by the condition of just the engine block, I doubt that we'd have spotted that from the air. Ever.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #114 on: October 17, 2008, 07:44:33 PM »

Oh, I would give us a half-way decent chance as it looks like pretty sparse forest cover though the terrain would have been a bear. 
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sardak
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« Reply #115 on: October 18, 2008, 01:30:49 AM »

In the previous link to the Flickr site photos, drop the "show" from the end of the link and the photo album can be seen without viewing it as a slideshow (as posted back on page 4 of this thread). :angel:

To add interest to this discussion, after Fossett's plane was found, a pilot-photographer realized he'd flown near the area this past June.  He reviewed his photos and found one that includes the location where the crash site was.  He makes no claims of being able to see the wreckage in the photo, but he does think the trees that burned are visible.

This is an overall photo of the area and definitely includes the crash site.  Fossett's plane was located in the lower quadrant of the photo.  It's a bit dark, but the photo can be lightened in your favorite photo editor.  Remember to download/view a larger size image.  This photo shows what the search area looks like from a light plane.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jw4pix/2910859368/in/set-72157606655477494/

This shows annotated views of his oblique angle photo next to a vertical perspective image from Google. The Google photos are a couple of years old and there was no hi-res imagery of this area made available during the Internet and Google "searches." Which of course just fuels the conspiracy theorists.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jw4pix/2915718535/in/set-72157606655477494/

A blow-up of the photo showing the crash site and trees.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jw4pix/2912652537/in/set-72157606655477494/

Here is an animated GIF of the SAR map, the Google image and the pilot's photo overlaid on one another.  You'll probably have to download the image to get the animation to work.  A later SAR map shows the actual crash site a couple of hundred yards upslope and upvalley from the one shown on this image.  The updated location is shown in the prevous side-by-side photo and in the Flickr collection taken at the crash site.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jw4pix/2912365827/in/set-72157606655477494/

While the crash site marked on the aerial photo is close to the actual site, I'm not sure he's pointing to the burned trees.

Mike
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_
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« Reply #116 on: November 04, 2008, 01:13:31 AM »

I know that no one is probably surprised but it's now official:

"Bones confirm Steve Fossett death"
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