2008-10-02 Steve Fossett search
The crash site had just been found, and the Madera County Sheriff's Office requested that CLMRG and other SAR teams go in and search for all possible evidence and remains. Dan (Operation Leader), Daryl, and I went for the first day, and for the next day it was Dan, Jeff, Martha, and me.

On day 1 we hiked the six miles and 2500' vertical to the crash site, with the last several hundred feet being a very steep talus chute which not too many searchers were able to negotiate. Those of us who got there concentrated on a fine-toothed search of the crash site and immediate surroundings, then were flown out by a National Guard Blackhawk at the end of the day.

On day 2 we got a helo ride in Yosemite's Bell SAR helo, with our main focus a line search from the wreckage to where the shirt had been found, 0.6 miles away. We searched carefully to that site, then shifted downhill 100 yards and searched a parallel track back to the wreckage. Once there, we did another detailed search of the area. Because of threatening weather and the concern base camp had for our safety, we were flown out around 3 pm.

Inyo SAR had an analogous assignment from the wreckage to the site where the ID was found, and back.

While we were on our second day's search assignment, Yosemite SAR spent the day collecting and loading up the wreckage to be flown out by a contract helo. I was amazed to see how clean they left the site, with only a few pieces about the size of a silver dollar or smaller remaining. Any Lookie Loos hoping to get there and find something to sell on eBay will be sorely disappointed.

In response to my specific questions, the Madera County deputy sheriff who was running the search said that posting of pictures showing no body parts or personal effects is OK.
110 photos · 114,131 views
1