AVweb Invites You to Join the Search for Steve Fossett


One example of a flagged lead, from an AVweb reader known on Amazon as “bellanca4”

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a world-wide effort to find Steve Fossett, and you can help without leaving the comfort of your computer desk. Below is everything you need to know to be part of the largest search ever undertaken, thanks to an amazing system called the Mechanical Turk that was developed by Amazon.com and uses satellite imagery supplied by DigitalGlobe and other providers.

Follow the links to review new satellite imagery of the search area and instructions on how to possibly spot Fossett’s plane. You can also look for a straight scrape in the ground, or maybe some letters created out of rocks or other material that someone on the ground might try to use as a signal. Use your imagination, and don’t be shy about sounding the alert.

Good hunting, and thanks from everyone at AVweb.

Go here to help.

A few tip and tricks from AVweb editor Jennifer Whitley, who’s been helping with the online search:

  • Read and follow the instructions on the Fossett Mechanical Turk home page carefully. It ain’t rocket science — if you know your way around a computer, you can help.
  • For better detail, view the images in Google Earth.
    (Download and install this free application if you don’t have it already.)
  • Load the KML file provided on the Fossett Mechanical Turk home page to ensure you’re viewing current (not cached) satellite data. Then cut and paste the latitude/longitude of the area you’re reviewing into Google Earth.
  • Use Google Earth’s pan, tilt and zoom features to uncover more detail on the area you’re reviewing.
  • If in doubt, be conservative and mark the image for review. It will be passed along to search-and-rescue specialists for further analysis.