Piper Apache 23

Piper PA23

Three men, all members of the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, set off on August 27, 1966 in 33 year old pilot Jack Goodman’s personal Piper Apache aircraft, registration number N5951Y.

Their destination was a missionary conference in Detroit, Michigan. From there, they intended to make business stops on the return trip relating to Goodman’s construction company; G&G Construction.

They landed in Springfield, Illinois and left later that same evening. That is the last anyone saw the men alive.

There was some discussion about the possibility of flying out of the way and nearer to the Chicago Skyline to see that sight on route to Detroit. Days later (September 4, 1966), the body of one of the passengers was located, but no details are yet known about where the body was found or its condition or cause of death. It was assumed that the plane was lost in Lake Michigan.

In 1994, A&T Recovery, a marine search and salvage company out of Chicago, came across the remains of this plane in the course of a search for downed WWII airplanes. It was upright and intact in 210 feet of water about 20 miles SW of St. Joseph, MI. They identified the plane using remote operated vehicle.

After some time, A&T turned coordinates and footage over to the Michigan State Police. It is understood that the police dive team made only one dive on the wreck to ascertain whether there were any bodies present, but none were reported.

Later, researchers from the University of Michigan visited the wreck to film it using their M-ROVER, an underwater remotely operated vehicle. MSRA has viewed footage from that wreck and notes that the plane sits upright and in excellent condition after almost 30 years on the bottom. MSRA plans to attempt to relocate the site and post coordinates for those interested in visiting this small wreck.