Fossett Crash Site Update

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Officials in California working to recover the wreckage of Steve Fossett's aircraft, discovered Wednesday last week on a mountainside near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (altitude, roughly 9,700 feet above sea level), succeeded this weekend in completing most of the task, but may have to postpone their most thorough efforts due to weather. Thursday, a bone fragment was found and removed from the site. Officials had said the search Friday would include 50 people and five dogs. That search recovered three more bone fragments. All remains have been handed over to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensics to determine if they belong to the body of Fossett. Fossett disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, after departing from a private strip in Nevada, in a blue and white Super Decathalon. Initial reports suggest the aircraft crashed and the wreckage slid up the mountainside for about 100 feet with the engine continuing an additional 300 feet. The first evidence of the crash was discovered by a hiker, last Monday, Sept. 29, roughly one-quarter mile from the crash site.

The hiker found a tattered sweatshirt, about $1,000 in cash and Fossett's pilot's certificate in the densely wooded, mountainous forest near Mammoth Lakes. The hiker reported his findings, Tuesday, when he says he remembered who Fossett was. The area of wreckage has been described as a "clear area" near Minaret Lake Trail, steeply sloped; the engine was found 300 feet from the next major area of debris.