Declare Fossett Dead, Wife Asks Court
Move would help settle vast estate of missing aviator
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2007 7:50 AM CST
Steve Fossett, talks to VIP guests while his wife Peggy looks on after his record- setting attempt was delayed by high crosswinds at the Salina Municipal Airport in Salina, Kan. in this Feb. 28, 2005...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The wife of Steve Fossett, who went missing in September while flying his plane over the rugged terrain of northwest Nevada, asked an Illinois court yesterday to declare him legally dead, the AP reports. If granted, the request would allow the vast estate of the millionaire adventurer to be settled, said an attorney for Peggy Fossett.

Her petition said there was no chance that Fossett, who made his fortune in Chicago's commodities markets, survived the presumed crash of his single-engine aircraft, the wreckage of which hasn't been found. It also said there's no reason the 63-year-old world-record-setting aviator would have chosen to disappear. "Fossett was happy and passionately involved in his pursuit of adventure," it said.