A memorial service to celebrate the life of Steve Fossett was held at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colo., on March 20. Famous for his many world records, Fossett was last seen on Sept. 3, 2007, when he took off from Barron Hilton’s Flying M Ranch in Nevada in a Bellanca Super Decathlon. After months of searching failed to provide a single clue of his disappearance, a massive rescue effort was officially suspended. Fossett was declared legally dead on Feb. 15, 2008.
Fossett set 116 records in five different sports, of which 60 still stand. Prior to his aviation records, no pilot held world records in more than one class of aircraft. Fossett hold them in four classes: airplanes, ballooning, glider and airships.
Fossett helped create The Youth Foundation in Beaver Creek, which sponsored the memorial service, attended by about 200 people. The foundation created its Spirit of Adventure award in his memory.
The Eagle County Boy Scout Troops honor guard raised the American and Colorado flag. Fossett’s wife, Peggy, accepted a folded American flag in his honor.
Friends and family shared memories at the service, and Pat Hamilton performed a stirring musical tribute. The National Aviation Hall of Fame provided a stunning video on Fossett’s life.
Fossett’s biography appears in “Living Legends of Aviation,” which will be available to the public this year.