Tennessee helicopter pilot found dead in Mammoth Cave National Park


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A helicopter pilot was found dead in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park.

The National Park Service said in a statement that at 4 p.m. CT on Monday, law enforcement officers from the park had received a notification that a helicopter crash with a single fatality had been discovered inside the park’s southern boundary. 

The pilot, 69-year-old David Stone, was found dead at the scene. 

Stone, of Louisville, Tennessee, had been flying alone from St. Louis, Missouri, to Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday before contact was lost with his aircraft.

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The visitor center at Mammoth Cave National Park
(NPS Photo)

Park officials were initially notified of the potential downed helicopter at around 10:30 a.m. that Monday. 

Eyewitness accounts and information from the last location put the helicopter within close proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park

A U.S. Park Ranger Law Enforcement vehicle at Mammoth Cave National Park

A U.S. Park Ranger Law Enforcement vehicle at Mammoth Cave National Park
(NPS Photo)

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

Trees surround a natural sinkhole on July 1, 2020, in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. 

Trees surround a natural sinkhole on July 1, 2020, in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. 
(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

The helicopter was located in the late afternoon by a search helicopter. 

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

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The park said it will release more information to the public as it becomes available.



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