ORONOGO, Mo. — An Oronogo man underwent surgery Tuesday after suffering facial and arm fractures late Monday afternoon when his home-built airplane crashed on his property.
While 72-year-old John Goodman's recovery will be long, his older sister, Marje Taylor, of Carl Junction, said his injuries were not life-threatening.
Taylor said Goodman, who was alert before surgery, told her that the engine of his plane failed midflight. She said he was cruising at a low altitude above the private airstrip behind his house at 20262 County Road 220 when the aircraft clipped a tree and crashed. Taylor said neighbors saw the crash and told Goodman's wife, who called 911. Goodman was pulled from the wreckage, she said.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol characterized Goodman's injuries as serious, and he was flown by medical helicopter to the hospital.
"He was alert but pretty banged up," said Detective Tim Williams, the Jasper County Sheriff 's Department's public information officer.
The Federal Aviation Administration was on the scene Tuesday morning to investigate the crash. An FAA preliminary data report said that Goodman's GN-1 Air Camper "crashed under unknown circumstances" and sustained "substantial" damage. The aircraft was certified in November.
Taylor said that Goodman had been piloting planes since his late teens or early 20s. The plane he crashed was the second one he had built. It was named "Wendy Gayle," after his daughter who died of cancer two years ago last December.
Taylor said it was "pretty neat" her brother built and flew his own planes.
"I suppose you think of (possible accidents), but you don't dwell on it," Taylor added.
She said it was the first time he had ever been in an accident while flying.
John Goodman's father founded Goodman Church Builders, a 45-year area business that closed in 2009. The business later became Goodman Architectural Services Inc., and John Goodman served as its president.