New Zealanders who have got to know Steve Fossett are anxiously waiting for news of the adventurer who has gone missing over the Nevada desert.
The American liked New Zealand and spent some time at Omarama in North Otago chasing the world height gliding record.
He forged many friendships and those people are optimistic about his fate, saying he is a careful and calculating flyer.
"Fingers crossed that he's out there somewhere...still safe," says Bill Walker.
Kiwi pilot Terry Delore saw Fossett just six weeks ago in Nevada and says he will fight for his life.
"Something's obviously gone wrong, he won't go out somewhere and put the aircraft down for a day and go walkabouts, there's no way he would do that," Delore says.
Delore has broken 11 gliding records with Fossett and says he always carefully planned his expeditions.
"Every risk he does take he manages and it's calculated. He wouldn't have been sticking his neck out."
And it is not just gliding which drew Fossett to New Zealand. His $8 million catamaran was built in Auckland and at the time it was the world's largest ocean racing multihull.
"He likes New Zealand because of the outdoors, because of the mountains, and the flying conditions...he was planning on coming back here next year and I hope he still does," says Delore.