Witnesses Describe Downed Planes

The air search for famous aviator Steve Fossett was suspended Thursday due to high winds. Major Cynthia Ryan of the Civil Air Patrol confirmed that the search would continue Friday.

On the ground, searchers started out to comb the area of Sonora Pass, north of Yosemite. Major Ryan confirmed that a woman in a cabin in that area reported that she heard a plane fly over the day Fossett took off. She also said that she heard a loud explosion or crash noise and saw a little bit of smoke.

According to reports, investigators from the Alpine County Sheriff's office met with the woman Thursday to pin down specifically what she heard. A ground search began today, and officers said the search could take four to five days over the rugged pass area.

In Nevada, searchers on the ground combed an area where two witnesses had reported that they saw a plane fly into a canyon and not come out.

Another story that has developed during this 10-day search – the discovery of 6 to 8 crash sites previously undiscovered. Reports from CNN say that searchers have turned up half a dozen previously undiscovered plane crash sites, and they believe there may be as many as 200 such sites around the Sierra Nevada range where the terrain can camouflage downed planes.



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