of the Most Traveled
Men on Earth
There are about 200 missing aircraft in the continental United States which have disappeared over the years. Lew became involved in looking for some of these missing planes when he joined the search for fellow adventurer Steve Fossett, who disappeared while flying a light plane in 2007. Steve and Lew were both members of The Explorers Club.Briefing on Amelia Earhart search 2017(PDF)
The documents below describe some of these searches, undertaken by Lew and the Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST) he co-founded, and also give a manual for how to undertake this type of worthwhile, altruistic adventure. MAST was recognized as an effective team by Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine – see the story below.
MAST is currently working on the case of Courtland “Court” Mumford, flying CubCrafters N222TB, in cooperation with the Portland Police Bureau. Court went missing in July 2007 and the wreckage of his plane is likely in western Oregon or off the Oregon coast. For more information, see the “Mumford missing person flyer” below.
MAST is also cooperating with an international news organization to develop an accurate, updated and comprehensive list of missing aircraft in the US.
Lew recently participated in the TIGHAR search for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan and their Lockheed Electra. They may have crash landed and survived for a short while on Nikumaroro Island in the Republic of Kiribati, in the South Pacific. The briefing immediately below describes the Nikumaroro expedition, what was found, the theory behind the search, and the other competing theories in the case – probably the most famous unsolved disappearance on Earth.
Briefing on the Search for Steve Fossett:
One of the Biggest Searches in US Aviation History(PDF)
The Search for Steve Fossett
Briefing on Searching for the Last Missing Women Airforce
Service Pilot (WASP) of World War II: Gertrude Tompkins Silver(PDF)
Search for the Last Missing WASP of WW II:
Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine Story(PDF: 3.94 MB)
Search for the Last Missing WASP
Press stories about an air wreck in the Grand Canyon investigated by MAST(PDF)
Solving the mystery of the WW II air wreck on the north shore of Bali Hai -- part 1(PDF)
Solving the mystery of the WW II air wreck on the north shore of Bali Hai -- part 2(PDF)
Briefing on how to spot downed light aircraft(PDF)
Mumford missing person flyer 2015(PDF)
Manual on Finding Lost Light Aircraft(PDF: 1.58 MB)
Explorers Club Members Help Find Missing Airplane
Statement on Finding N2700Q