Day #7: The Search for Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet (June 20th, 2014)

Today the Adventure Science team continued the search for Lt. Steeves’ missing Lockheed Martin T-33A Jet. The team got an early start at 7:30 a.m. and expanded the lower elevation search grid.

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Tim Puetz and Helene Dumais
Photo Credit: Wanda Summers / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

After another long day of searching, and having covered a lot of ground, the tired Adventure Science team began the long trek out of the Sierras, back to civilization. The team did not find Lt. Steeves’ Jet, but ground truthed three known wreck sites near Bishop, California, and were able to offer first aid to an injured hiker they found during the search.

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Jane Davis and Winter Vinecki
Photo Credit: Wanda Summers / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

Congratulations to the Adventure Science team on their valiant effort this week to solve the mystery of Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet.

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Day #6: The Search for Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet (June 19th, 2014)

Today the Adventure Science team got out into their search areas and began to search for Lt. Steeves’ Lockheed Martin T-33A Jet. The team was working in the stunningly beautiful Dusy Basin region of the Sierra Nevada Mtns, with the goal of finding Steeves’ ejection seat, and/or the plane itself.

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Photo Credit: Wanda Summers / Adventure Science

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Tim Puetz and Helene Dumais
Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Jane Davis and Winter Vinecki
Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Wanda Summers
Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Simon Donato / Adventure Science

While the team was searching for Lt. Steeves’ jet, Keith and Chris back at base camp decided they would spend the day ground truthing another known wreck site near Bishop, California. This blue and white Piper Aztec was also spotted during the Steve Fossett search in 2008, but was rejected and noted for future ground truthing. The location was north of Tonopah Nevada, and they were able to get name plate information for further investigation into the circumstances regarding this crash.

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Photo Credit: Keith Szlater

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Photo Credit: Keith Szlater

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Photo Credit: Keith Szlater

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Photo Credit: Keith Szlater 

Day #5: The Search for Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet (June 18th, 2014)

This morning the Adventure Science team met with the packers for their entry into the high Sierras, to begin the search for Lt. Steeves’ missing jet.

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The Adventure Science team left the trail head at 10:00 a.m. and, true to form, the athletes made the summit of Bishop Pass in record time – 2 hours and 10 minutes.

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With help from a student in the Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Michigan, we were able to calculate possible flight paths using existing data. The team will be searching these areas, over the next four days, for the final location of the jet.

Follow along with the team via live tracking provided by inReach Canada, here: http://on.fb.me/1usITU3

Photo Credit: Keith Szlater / Adventure Science

Day #4: The Search for Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet (June 17th, 2014)

This afternoon the Adventure Science team once again attempted to locate the known wreck site, near Mono Lake, that was spotted from the sky during the 2008 search for Steve Fossett.

After a few hours of searching, the team located the Mono Lake anomaly.

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Photo Credit: Liz Barney / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Liz Barney / Adventure Science

It was a drop tank from a military jet(an external fuel tank carried by jets that can be jettisoned when empty, or in case of an emergency).

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Photo Credit: Winter Vinecki / Adventure Science

Unfortunately the serial number on the drop tank was crushed, however we are able to see that it belonged to Navy fighter jet.

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Photo Credit: Winter Vinecki / Adventure Science

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Photo Credit: Winter Vinecki / Adventure Science

Day #3: The Search for Lt. Steeves’ Missing Jet (June 16, 2014)

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During the 2008 Adventure Science search for Steve Fossett, a number of unknown wreck sites were spotted from the air. These wreck sites were not on the official crash list, and many of these sites have not been ground truthed since. Today the Adventure Science team attempted to ground truth one of these sites, near Mono Lake.

With support from Corsair Aviation, the team once again took to the sky to see if they could spot the wreckage from the air.

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Unable to see the crash site from the air, the team took to the ground.

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After a long afternoon of searching, and coming up empty handed, the team decided to head back towards Lee Vining where they camped for the evening. On the way back, they stopped to visit an old mine.

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Photo Credit: Liz Barney / Adventure Science

Day #2: The Search for Lt. Steeves Missing Jet (June 15th, 2014)

Today the Adventure Science team ground-truthed a known wreck site near Owen River Gorge, California. The plane, the Vultee BT-13 – serial number #41-21786, belonged to Cadet W.J. Kania of the United States Air Force. He was, unfortunately, found dead 200 feet from his plane, approximately a week after he went missing in 1943.

ImageThe Valley where the Vultee BT-13 was found

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Adventure Science team members Jane Davis, Jordan Eady, and Josh Eady, with remnants of the plane.

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Adventure Science athlete, Helene Dumais, at the Vultee BT-13 crash site.

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Adventure Science athlete, Winter Vinecki, with remnants of the Vultee BT-13. 

The Adventure Science team also attempted to scout the known wreck sites from the air today with help from Corsair Aviation, but were unfortunately grounded due to extreme winds.

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Instead, the team hiked out to Bishop Pass to scout weather conditions and assess snow pack for entry into the high Sierras. The team is currently scheduled to enter the Sierras on Wednesday June 18th, 2014, and are confident that they will be able to push through the lingering snow.

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Follow along with the team via live tracking provided by inReach Canada, here: http://on.fb.me/1usITU3

Photo Credit: Liz Barney / Adventure Science

Day #1: The Search for Lt. Steeves Missing Jet (June 14th, 2014)

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The Adventure Science team made their way to Bishop, California from Los Angeles. Due to lingering snow at Bishop Pass, the team will likely be delaying their entry into the high Sierras by a day or two. 

Tonight the team will be attempting to ground truth a known wreck site near Bishop, and will camp above Owens River Gorge

Follow along with the team via live tracking, provided by inReach Canada, here: http://on.fb.me/1usITU3