Some of the relevant passages:
"How did being with the PirahÃ£ change your thinking?
They lived so well without religion and they were so happy. Also they didn't believe what I was saying because I didn't have evidence for it, and that made me think. They would try so hard to understand what I was saying, but it was obviously utterly irrelevant to them. I began to think: what am I doing here, giving them these 2000-year-old concepts when everything of value I can think of to communicate to them they already have?"
What interested me about the article is that he's been approached by a Hollywood producer to make a movie about his life. I think that says a lot about what is "newsworthy" about Christians. Everet is now a professor in linguistics, and I'm guessing that if he had lived the exact same life--without deconverting, no one would find it interesting.
Airplanes and Christians are two things that the media seem to cover only when they fall.