Searchers aren’t the ones obsessed with celebrity |

Searchers aren’t the ones obsessed with celebrity

It has been going around the airport that because Steve Fossett is missing and the search is getting national media attention, the Civil Air Patrol and National Guard are putting in extra effort because their target is a celebrity. It’s been said that they wouldn’t put in the same effort for some regular Joe or Jill who happened to be missing.

We were here in October 1997 when a floatplane containing four Carson City residents failed to arrive at its destination. The Civil Air Patrol spent 10 days searching before finding the crash site in Alpine County. That search cost the lives of two of the patrol’s fliers and an aircraft.

The key to that search was that people knew the floatplane’s destination and therefore had a more limited search area.

The Fossett search is complicated by the lack of destination or flight plan. The only clue searchers have to go on is that he flew south.

According to the Civil Air Patrol’s 2006 report to Congress, members of the Nevada wing flew a total of 1,718 hours searching for people. That translates into 71 solid days of flying.

We agree with the statement that the real difference in the search for Fossett from others we’ve covered is the national media attention.

That attention may actually help find Fossett if the folks using the Internet come up with something.

And that’s the real difference. Because, when that regular Joe or Jill goes missing, the Civil Air Patrol will be there to look for them. We doubt the same will be true for the national media or the Internet searchers.

• This editorial appeared in The Record-Courier.