Oregon Copter Pilot Has Knack For Finding The Lost

Published February 7, 2012 8:18AM (EST)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — John Rachor painted his helicopter orange and yellow, so it would be easier to spot if he ever crashed and became the target of a search and rescue operation in the rugged forests of southwestern Oregon.

Over the past six years, he has been the one doing the spotting.

Saturday, he found three members of a family who got lost while picking mushrooms. And in 2006 he found a San Francisco family who got lost while driving over a snowy logging road in the same region.

Search and rescue coordinator Sara Rubrecht says Rachor is a "crazy good" searcher, with a talent that can't be taught.

Rachor attributes his success to good eyesight, a willingness to think outside the box, and the hard work of the scores of other people involved in a search.

By Salon Staff

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