Missing adventurers wife asks court to declare him legally dead

CHICAGO, Nov 27, 2007 (AFP) – The wife of American adventurer Steve Fossett has asked a court to declare him legally dead, nearly three months after his small plane vanished over the Nevada wilderness, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Last year, he guided his Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer some 42,000 kilometers (26,000 miles) around the world, setting the record for the longest solo, non-stop, non-refueled flight in terms of distance. Peggy Fossett, who lived in Chicago with her husband, filed a court petition in Cook County, Illinois, Monday asking that the millionaire aviator’s assets be distributed according to his will.

“As anyone can imagine, this is a difficult day for our family,” Peggy Fossett said in a written statement, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We will continue to grieve and heal, but after nearly three months we feel now that we must accept that Steve did not survive.”

The court petition said Steve Fossett’s “wealth is vast, surpassing eight figures in liquid assets, various entities and real estate.”

Fossett, 63, disappeared on September 3 after taking off in a small single-engine Bellanca airplane from Yerington, Nevada.

The search was suspended a month later after a squadron of planes sco