CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Jim Gibbons said he won’t bill the widow of Steve Fossett, but instead will send a letter asking her to help pay for the month-long search for the famed aviator last fall.
A Gibbons spokesman said Peggy Fossett will be asked to voluntarily contribute to help as the state faces a projected $900 million budget shortfall.
The 63-year-old Fossett took off Sept. 3 from Barron Hilton’s Flying M Ranch, south of Yerington, in a small plane, on what was supposed to be a short pleasure flight.
During a month-long search, ground crews, the Nevada National Guard and the Civil Air Patrol scoured a 20,000 square-mile area, but turned up no sign of Fossett or his plane.
The search cost the state $687,000. Hilton sent a check to cover $200,000 in costs.
Fossett was declared legally dead Feb. 15 by an Illinois judge.