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Man dies, another injured after plane flips

Retired area business leader and Jackson resident Lowell Peterson died hours after the plane he was piloting flipped over upon landing at the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport Tuesday, Oct. 9.

The other occupant of the two-seater plane was Jack Mehner, father of John Mehner, president of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jack Mehner is recovering at Saint Francis Hospital from his injuries. John Mehner reported that his father’s doctor said the surgery “couldn’t have gone better.” The elder Mehner remained in the Intensive Care Unit for a second night following surgery and then was moved to a regular room.

Both men were longtime pilots.

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department was called to the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport at 10:49 a.m. in response to an aircraft  that had crashed off the runway.

The fire department responded with one engine, one airport truck, one rescue engine and a battalion chief.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a small, yellow, single-engine two-seater aircraft that had flipped upside down. Airport personnel and employees from Cape Aviation and ARCH Air Medical Services Inc. were already on scene. They had removed both occupants from the aircraft and were giving them medical attention.

Firefighters assisted in giving medical attention and made sure all safety precautions were taken with the aircraft. They made sure the plane’s fuel posed no danger.

Cape Girardeau police officers and Scott County sheriff’s deputies also arrived on the scene.

Mehner and Peterson were taken by ambulance to the hospital; one was transported by North Scott County Ambulance and the other by Cape County Private Ambulance.

Peterson was later transferred to a St. Louis Hospital, where he died shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Fire and police personnel remained at the airport until the scene was deemed under control, and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified. Fire personnel then released the scene to airport personnel.

The incident did not affect other flights at the airport.

Visitation and the funeral service for Peterson were Saturday at St. Andrew’s Church in Cape Girardeau.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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