UPDATE: Missing pilot found dead at Mammoth Cave National Park

Missing helicopter and pilot
Missing helicopter and pilot(Glasgow/Barren County Emergency Management)
Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 1:24 PM CDT
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MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. (WBKO) - The pilot and the helicopter who went missing in South Central Kentucky over the weekend have been located, but officials tell us the pilot, David Stone, did not survive.

According to Mammoth Cave officials, at approximately 4:00 pm on Monday they received a notification that a helicopter crash with a single fatality had been found inside the park’s southern boundary.

The pilot, 69-year-old Stone of Louisville, TN had been flying alone from St. Louis, MO, to Knoxville, TN on Saturday before contact was lost with his helicopter.

Officials say information from Stone’s last location and accounts from eyewitnesses helped place Stone’s helicopter within close proximity to the park.

The downed helicopter was later found by a search helicopter.

Park staff assisted Barren and Glasgow County Emergency Management, Edmonson County Emergency Management, and Kentucky State Police by searching park areas accessible by roads and trails.

Terry Massey, the emergency management director of Edmonson County spoke on the recovery efforts.

“It looks like a group of people being or willing to put their body in harm’s way to go recover somebody’s loved ones, no matter no matter the condition we go into recover that body where they can have complete closure. This recovery was set up where we had State Police, the coroner, volunteers, which that’s what fire department and rescue squads are to go and recover the body with borrowed, side by sides, stokes baskets to bring the body up,” said Massey.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the National Park Service and the National Traffic Safety Board.