Fossett wreckage collected from mountain

Oct. 4, 2008 at 10:50 AM
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MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Investigators have finished removing the wreckage of adventurer Steve Fossett's plane from California's remote Sierra Nevada mountains, officials said.

Contractors using a helicopter plucked the pieces from the crash site and brought them to a trailhead, where they were placed onto trucks to be prepared for analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board, The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Many pieces of the wreckage were thin and twisted and some still carried traces of blue paint, the newspaper said.

Authorities said a hiker found identification cards this week in the remote mountains near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., leading searchers to wreckage of Fossett's single-engine plane. Bone fragments that might have come from a human were also found, with authorities saying Friday three more such fragments were discovered.

Fossett appears to have flown into the side of a mountain. He disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, while making a solo flight from a ranch in Nevada.

Fossett, 63, made a fortune in financial services. In later life, he became well known as a sportsman and adventurer, setting more than 116 records and firsts, including the first solo hot-air balloon trip around the world.

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