Retired Air Force General Crashes Near Waco

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A retired three-star general is dead following a plane crash at McGregor's Executive Airport.

Lt Gen Harry Goodall had just departed on a flight to Virginia when his small, twin-engine plane crashed during take-off.

Goodall was an experienced pilot with 5,000 hours of flight time.

Just before 8am Saturday morning, Goodall took off from McGregor. He had filed a flight plan to Virginia, where he was to address a group of military officers.

Witnesses said Goodall's Beach Baron Twin took off heading south, but then turned back toward the airport. Moments later, the plane crashed in a field about a quarter-mile from the runway, leaving skid marks 25 yards long, and quickly bursting into flames.

Waco firefighters were first on the scene and extinguished the fire. But Goodall was pronounced dead by a McLennan County justice of the peace.

Police departments from McGregor, Woodway and Waco arrived and sealed off the scene, waiting for the Federal Aviation Authority to arrive from Fort Worth to investigate.

The crash and the death of the 74-year-old retired general are still under investigation by both the National Transportation and Safety Board and local police.

As of now, there is no word on how or why a highly-experienced pilot with a long and established military career could end up like this.