Senator Inhofe's son killed in Owasso plane crash
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OWASSO (KFAQ) U-S Senator Jim Inhofe's son, Perry Inhofe, has died in a plane crash in Owasso.
The plane went down in a field near 96th Street North and Mingo on Sunday.
Tulsa International Airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins says the airport received an alert from a pilot who reported engine problems and was trying to land at the airport. Higgins says the aircraft crashed about five miles north of the airport.
The plane had recently been purchased by Perry Inhofe, who was an orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett issued a statement saying the city of Tulsa shares "our deepest condolences" with the Inhofe family for their loss. "It is with deep sorrow that we give our condolences to Tulsa's former mayor Jim Inhofe and his family. Dr. Perry Inhofe was a man of great integrity, skilled as a surgeon, and an example for all of us. His love for his family and his profession will always be remembered. I am asking all Tulsans to remember Dr. Inhofe and keep his dear family in our prayers," said Bartlett.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "was informed of Sen. Inhofe's son's death."
"My thoughts and prayers are with Jim and Kay and their family as they mourn this terrible loss," Hagel said in a statement Monday. He added that the entire Department of Defense supports the Inhofe family and has "enduring appreciation for all they do on behalf of our military."
Perry Inhofe, who worked at Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa, was one of four children of Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1984 and graduated from medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, according to the clinic's website. Telephone messages left Monday at Inhofe's clinic weren't immediately returned.
The married father lived in Tulsa.
The multiengine plane was headed to Tulsa International Airport when it crashed shortly before 4 p.m. on Sunday about 5 miles north of the airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane had taken off from Salina, Kan.
Jake Bray told the Tulsa World newspaper that he saw the crash from about 400 yards away, saying one propeller appeared to be out before "it started spiraling out of control and it hit the ground."
Jim Inhofe, 79, has been a pilot for more than 50 years and owns several planes. The Republican is known for flying to campaign stops across the state.
In an interview earlier this year with General Aviation News, the senator said he taught his son Perry to fly in the family's 1954 Grumman Tiger and that the tradition was passed on to Perry Inhofe's 16-year-old son, Cole, who made his first landing in September at an air show in Wisconsin.
A tail number provided by the National Transportation and Safety Board shows that the plane Perry Inhofe was flying Sunday was a 1974 Mitsubishi MU-2B-25, a fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft. The same model has come under increased scrutiny in recent years from the FAA after statistics showed a rising rate of accidents involving the plane. As a result, the agency developed a new comprehensive standardized pilot training program for the aircraft in 2008.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement Monday night that he extends "sincere condolences" to Sen. Inhofe, his wife and the rest of the family.
"There is no greater heartbreak for a parent than the loss of a child," he said.
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