Helicopter Crashes at Mammoth Cave National Park, Pilot Found Dead at Scene

by Megan Molseed

Tragedy hit Monday afternoon at the Mammoth Cave National Park when a helicopter crashed into the area. The National Park Service has reported that the crash has resulted in a single fatality. According to reports, the helicopter’s pilot was flying solo, leaving St. Louis Missouri on Saturday, September 3. However, ground officials soon lost contact with the aircraft.

Missing Helicopter And Pilot Discovered By National Park Service Officials In Mammoth Cave National Park

Law enforcement officials reported they received a call to the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky at around 4 p.m. central-standard time on Monday, September 5. Reports note that the call was notifying the officials of a helicopter crash in the park’s southern boundary. The call also reported a single fatality as a result of the crash.

According to National Park Service (NPS) officials, the pilot has been identified as sixty-nine-year-old David Stone of Louisville Tennesse. Stone had taken off from St. Louis Missouri a few days earlier on Saturday, September 3.

Stone was flying alone, according to the recently released reports from the NPS. It has been noted that David Stone was piloting the helicopter, headed to Knoxville Tennessee. However, Stone had gone silent not long into the flight, losing contact with those on the ground. He was found dead at the crash site.

National Park Service Officials Received Calls About The Downed Aircraft Monday Morning

The National Park Service reports that officials were initially notified of a downed helicopter at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning. The day the fatal crash was discovered. Based on information regarding David Stone’s last known location in the air, as well as eyewitness accounts place the aircraft within close proximity to the historic national park.

After receiving the initial call on Monday morning the staff at the Mammoth Cave National Park began searching the area. The park officials assisted other local responders. These officials include the Barren and Glasgow County Emergency Management, and Edmonson County Emergency Management. The Kentucky State Police also joined in on the search. During this time, the officials scoured the area, searching all Mammoth Cave National Park areas that are accessible by trails and roads.

The downed aircraft was finally located in the late afternoon, via an air search when a search helicopter took to the air to assist the crews searching on the ground.

The cause of the deadly crash remains under investigation by both the National Park Service officials and the National Traffic Safety Board.