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Aviation Record Holder Steve Fossett Missing

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Searchers are combing an area of western Nevada looking for adventurer Steve Fossett, who was reported missing in his Super Decathlon early this morning. The Nevada Record-Courier is reporting that Fossett left the Hilton Ranch in the Smith Valley in the aircraft Monday evening. It's not known where he was heading.

Nevada Civil Air Patrol spokeswoman Maj. Cynthia Ryan said three crews were launched early today and more will be dispatched through the day. A check of neighboring airports apparently came up empty. The aircraft Fossett was seen taking off in is blue and white and the terrain in the area of the Hilton ranch is rugged and sparsely populated. Fossett is best known for his around-the-world flight in a balloon and another unrefueled flight in a single-engine jet aircraft. He was in Nevada recently preparing for a land-speed record attempt in a jet-powered car on the Bonneville Flats but it's not known why he was at the Hilton Ranch.

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