Archive for Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weather may have been factor in Fossett plane crash

October 4, 2008

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— Investigators finished up Friday at the scene of Steve Fossett's plane crash in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada just as dark clouds rolled in and winds picked up ahead of a storm that threatened to bury any remaining evidence under 2 feet of snow.

They discovered three more bone fragments Friday, said Madera County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Erica Stuart. Like a piece found the day before, they will be sent to a lab to determine whether they are human and a match for Fossett, the famous adventurer.

Teams of volunteers, as well as local and federal search crews, had furiously combed the site for any evidence that could help piece together the mystery of Fossett's plane crash more than a year ago.

Mangled and charred plane parts and other bundles of debris were headed to a warehouse in Sacramento where investigators planned to lay them out for examination.

"We'll be looking at the entire fuselage to make sure nothing broke off to cause the accident," he said.

The NTSB is attempting to gather radar and weather data to determine what the conditions were in the area the day of the accident. They hope the radar data will help them pinpoint the time of the crash.

"Maybe we'll be able to grab radar data and get lucky," Rosenker said.

Weather records should allow investigators to "have a better understanding of potential winds, clouds and turbulence. The process is not simple," Rosenker said.

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