Sir Edmund Hillary, 88; New Zealand mountaineer was first to climb to the top of Mt. Everest (Jan. 11)

Evelyn Pinckert Brier, 98; widely regarded as the first licensed female flight instructor in the United States (Jan. 20)

John W. Myers, 96; renowned test pilot who flew the Northrop P-61 during World War II (Jan. 31)

Steve Fossett, 63; millionaire adventurer missing since September 2007 ruled legally dead by an Illinois court. Wreckage of his plane and his remains found near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., in October (Feb. 15)

Vicki Van Meter, 26; made headlines in the 1990s when she piloted a plane across the United States at the age of 11 and flew from the United States to Europe at age 12 (March 15)

G. David Low, 52; NASA astronaut served on three space shuttle missions (March 15)

Diane Barnato Walker, 90; first British woman pilot to break the sound barrier (April 28)

Ralph S. Plaisted, 80; a Minnesota insurance salesman turned explorer who in 1968 led the first expedition that indisputably reached the North Pole over the ice (Sept. 8)

Frank Mundus, 82; a renowned Long Island, N.Y., shark fisherman famous for catching gargantuan great whites and reputed to have inspired the irascible Capt. Quint character in the novel and movie “Jaws” (Sept. 10)

Jacques Piccard, 86; a scientist and underwater explorer (Nov. 1)