Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Van's RV-6A, N451JP: Fatal accident occurred October 09, 2018 at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport (KCGI), Missouri

Jack Mehner

"Good evening, Lord."

Those were the words Jack Mehner spoke during his invocation at the Cape Chamber's annual dinner. It stuck with me, partly because you hear so few people begin prayer this way. But if you know Mehner and what he endured 13 months ago, it makes perfect sense. Prayer has been his source of strength.

Mehner, 84, and fellow aviator Lowell Peterson worked on planes together over the years, and on October 9th, 2018, on a windy, but otherwise sunny day the two men flipped a private aircraft at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

Peterson, who was the pilot that day, died. Mehner suffered from a broken neck and a head injury. A faint scar on the right side of his forehead is a permanent reminder.

"It was a little windy. [It] wasn't too bad when we took off," Mehner told me Monday afternoon. "We flew around for awhile and by the time we got ready to leave the wind was like 26, 25 knots crosswind -- which is not good. But Lowell had done that before and landed in cross winds. [He was] a good pilot. So I had no reason to be concerned."

The plane descended in what Mehner called a "critical landing." It hit the runway hard, bounced, then blew into the grass where it flipped, he recalled.

Mehner was unable to get Peterson out of the plane. He used a handkerchief to stop the bleeding from his own head, crawled out of the plane and called 911.

Peterson, he learned later, died of a heart attack when the plane landed.

"It wasn't anything he did wrong," Mehner said. "He just had a heart attack."

Over the coming weeks Mehner spent time in an intensive care unit recovering from his broken neck followed by several weeks of rehabilitation at Chateau Girardeau. Because of radiation from previous vocal cord cancer, medical staff struggled to insert a breathing tube which ultimately led to swallowing difficulty.

Even after being discharged to go home, Mehner struggled with swallowing. A feeding tube was his source of nutrition. But one night while meeting friends for dinner, he tried a small amount of chicken noodle soup. With a little work, he was able to swallow. Now, he can eat most anything he wants.

Mehner said his wife, Sherri, was a big help in the recovery. He received numerous visitors and cards. Even a marquee on Independence Street read, "Pray for Jack."

"[There were] so many prayers, people saying they prayed for me, that I can't begin to count them," Mehner said.

Faith has always been a source of strength for Mehner. But like many who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, as Scripture says, Mehner found hope through his relationship with Jesus.

"There's nothing like a problem to bring you closer to God," he said. "I've been close to God for years ... I don't even remember the first time I went to church. But it does get your attention," he said of the crash.

Mehner said he's been blessed with a full recovery, eating and doing most anything he did before -- including his workouts at the gym and playing pickleball.

But most of all, Mehner's passion for ministry lives on. He leads a small group through LaCroix Church, attends another Bible study and is involved in a ministry with the Charleston prison.

About a half dozen individuals go to the prison each week. Some of the ministries include recording the inmates reading a children's' book. The recording is sent to their children or grandchildren.

They also assist with broadcasting the Global Leadership Summit to the prison and work with the inmates to pack meals through Feed My Starving Children. Mehner estimated the prison has helped pack 200,000 to 300,000 meals.

"It's amazing to me how guys can leave the backgrounds that they've had and through whatever -- through some of their own efforts, hopefully through some of our efforts as far as bringing Bible messages to them -- they've become such strong Christian guys. It's amazing to me," he said, adding the inmates have been a blessing to him.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, Jack Mehner is the epitome of gratefulness. Grateful to be alive. Grateful to serve. From surviving a horrific plane crash to living a life of purpose and helping others, he's certainly an inspiration.

Original article can be found here ➤

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Louis, Missouri

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Cape Girardeau, MO
Accident Number: WPR19LA006
Date & Time: 10/09/2018, 1050 CDT
Registration: N451JP
Aircraft: Vans RV6
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 9, 2018, about 1050 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Vans Aircraft Inc., RV-6A airplane, N451JP, veered off the side of the runway and nosed over during landing at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport (CGI), Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed at an unknown time.

According to witnesses located at the airport, the pilot lost control of the airplane during a crosswind landing and veered off the side of the runway and nosed over. The airplane came to rest about 1,750 ft from the approach end of runway 20 and about 25 ft off to the right side of the runway edge.

The airplane was recovered to a secure location.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N451JP
Model/Series: RV6 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CGI, 341 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3100 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI)
Destination: Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:   37.225278, -89.570833 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Lowell Charles Peterson

Lowell Charles Peterson, 74 of Jackson, Missouri passed away Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at Saint Francis Medical Center.

He was born February 15, 1944 in Saint Paul, Minnesota to the late Philip and Gina (Stark) Peterson.

He and Laurie Lindseth were married August 20, 1966 in Athens, GA.

Lowell served in the U.S. Navy as Supply Officer. He was a member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church.

His working career included 29 years in banking, starting as a bank examiner in the Midwest, moving on to Hibbing, Minnesota, as Assistant Vice-President of First National Bank, onward to Alexandria, Minnesota, as President of First Bank. Mercantile in Farmington, Missouri, was next where Lowell worked as President, to his final position in Cape Girardeau-Jackson with US Bank where he retired in 2004 as President.

He loved being involved in the local community as well as his Old Goats coffee group.

Lowell was a past-president of Rotary in Cape Girardeau, participated in the annual Soap Box Derby, and loved his time as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity. Once retired he and Laurie joined Peace Corps and were stationed in Uzbekistan. 

Lowell was a builder of bridges and airplanes, as well as hydraulic can-smashers. He was meticulous and precise in whatever project he was creating. He and his flying buddy Jack enjoyed many hours at the Cape airport, especially flying to Dexter for Saturday morning coffee.

He will be missed by all of us, as well as by his dog Annie.

Survivors include his wife, Laurie Peterson of Jackson, Missouri; daughter, Betsey (Richard) Rice of Ozark, Missouri; son, Jon Peterson of Lindstrom, Minnesota; four brothers, Lynn (Barbara) Peterson, Delwin (Marilyn) Peterson, Merlin (Linda) Peterson, Burnell (Ann) Peterson; four grandchildren, Andrew Magnan, Allison Saylor, Katie Peterson, Jacob Peterson; six great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

Funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Rev.'s Mark Martin and John Dehne officiating.

Burial will take place at a later date in Minnesota.

Memorial contributions may be given to Habitat for Humanity, 2365 Rust Ave Cape Girardeau, MO 63703.

Jackson resident and aviation enthusiast Lowell Peterson has died following a plane crash. He was 74.

Peterson and longtime friend Jack Mehner were hospitalized Tuesday after a plane they were flying flipped at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

Cape Girardeau Police Department public-information officer Rick Schmidt had confirmed Peterson and Lowell were the only "two souls on board" the plane at the time of the crash.

Authorities had not said who was piloting the plane, but both men had long experience as pilots. Both had joined the Cape Girardeau Pilots' Club and had years of piloting experience, according to Southeast Missourian archives.

Last year, the FAA designated Mehner a "Master Pilot" for having exhibited flying skill for the past 50 years. He told the Southeast Missourian in an article recognizing his achievement he and Peterson often enjoyed flying an airplane they had built together in Peterson's garage, among other planes.

Peterson was active in the community. He had served as past-president of Rotary in Cape Girardeau, participated in the annual Soap Box Derby, and had been executive director of Habitat for Humanity.

He and his wife Laurie joined Peace Corps after his retirement, and were stationed in Uzbekistan.

His visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church.

Burial will take place at a later date in Minnesota.

Mehner had successful surgery Wednesday morning for a neck injury he sustained, according to a message put out on behalf of his family by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. Mehner's son John Mehner is the president and CEO of the chamber.

Original article can be found here ➤

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Emergency crews rushed to the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

A small single engine 2-seater aircraft flipped over on its top, according to the Cape Girardeau Fire Department.

As of Wednesday morning on Oct. 10, city officials said the NTSB and FAA will be investigating the incident.

There were two people in the plane at the time of the crash and they were transported to the hospital.

We’re told their injuries are serious.

According to Cape Girardeau Public Information Manager Nicolette Brennan, the plane flipped as it was landing.

The incident reportedly did not impact other scheduled flights.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

Along with Cape Girardeau Police and Fire Departments, multiple emergency crews responded to the scene, including those with Scott City, Scott County and Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Original article can be found here ➤

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Two people were hospitalized when a plane flipped Tuesday at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, authorities said.

The private aircraft carrying two passengers flipped at 11 a.m., according to a statement issued by Cape Girardeau public-information manager Nicolette Brennan. The airport is a city property.

The two passengers sustained serious injuries in the crash and were both transported to local hospitals, according to the release.

Cape Girardeau Police Department public-information officer Richard Schmidt confirmed that the two people hospitalized were the only “two souls on board” the plane at the time of the crash.

He said the cause of the crash had not been identified, but authorities are investigating.

No other aircrafts were involved in the crash, and the emergency is not expected to affect other scheduled flights, according to the statement from city officials.

More information is expected as authorities and emergency personnel process the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. 70+ yo pilots and vans. Deadly combination. There. I said it.

  2. Yes Sir, lot's and lot's of small airplane fatal accidents happening lately. Let us all self certify for everything, then maybe there will not be any more of us left. What the h e double hockey sticks is going on? Oh wait, AOPA says the stats are getting a lot better. Right!