Report: Senator's son was flying new aircraft solo
OWASSO, Okla. (AP) — The son of Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was flying a new type of aircraft for the first time alone when he was killed last November in a plane crash, according to a factual report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Perry Inhofe, the son of Oklahoma's senior senator, was flying solo in a 1974 Mitsubishi MU-2B-25 from Salina, Kansas, to Tulsa when the crash occurred on Nov. 10, 2013.
The report released Monday said Perry Inhofe had logged 2,874 total flight hours, mostly in a Cessna aircraft. He was returning from ground school training in Kansas on the Mitsubishi multi-engine aircraft when his plane went down near Tulsa.
"The accident flight from (Salina to Tulsa) was the first time the pilot flew as a single pilot in the MU-2B-25 airplane," the NTSB report said.
Toxicology found no signs of alcohol or drugs except ibuprofen, and other pilots who'd flown with Perry Inhofe previously described him as a careful, meticulous pilot.
"They described the pilot as a very good aviator who was studious and modest regarding his pilot skills," the report said.
Perry Inhofe reported a "control problem" and that his left engine had shut down, and witnesses reported seeing his plane make a hard left turn shortly before the crash. Monday's report did not offer a probable cause or conclusions about the crash, with an additional report expected to be released in the coming months.
Perry Inhofe, who worked at Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa, was one of four children of Sen. Inhofe, 79. Jim Inhofe, a Republican, has been a pilot for more than 50 years and is known for flying to campaign stops across the state.