Redding pilots to thank for tracking down missing man in Trinity County

Oct 29, 2014 7:49 PM by Charlene Cheng

When 59-year-old Dave Stornetta and his dog went missing in the Trinity County wilderness, his family didn't just wait around.

Instead, they chartered two helicopters from Redding to launch an air search and rescue mission.

"The helicopter was the tool that saved him on this long journey of his," said Dave Everson, one of the pilots who helped find Stornetta.

The week-long ordeal began last Thursday, when Stornetta and his son headed out on a hunting trip.

He was reported missing when he failed to show up for lunch.

The Trinity County Sheriff's Office searched the area until giving up on Monday.

That night, Air Shasta got the call from Stornetta's son to keep on looking.

"The tone when we started the search, which was his seventh day, was a lot people were worried that he was just not alive. If he was, he would be injured, be hard to find," Everson said.

The team took off at the Redding Airport, and headed to Trinity County to join the search.

Once there, the helicopters flew up and down drainages in the five-mile search area, until they spotted smoke.

W"e finally found the fire and we found the tracks, the thermometer went up on hope," Everson said.

Following the tracks, the search team found even more smoke in a canyon, and then, movement.

"Finally I saw his hands waving. I couldn't see a body, I could just see hands moving around," Everson said.

One of the helicopters was able to pull him out, and Stornetta uttered his first sentence in a week.

"He was so glad to see us, he jumped into the helicopter and he said, 'Get me out of here,'" Everson said.


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