Tags: Inhofe | son | killed | plane

Sen. Inhofe's Son Killed in Fiery Plane Crash

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 06:48 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The physician son of Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe died in a plane crash Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed Monday night.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Hagel "was informed of Sen. Inhofe's son's death." The Republican senator is ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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A source close to Inhofe earlier said Dr. Perry Inhofe, an orthopedic surgeon in Tulsa,  died in the crash near Owasso, Okla., five miles north of Tulsa International Airport, local TV station KOKO reported. He died the day before his 52nd birthday.

The airport said the pilot of the plane issued an alert at 3:45 p.m. Sunday asking for immediate assistance, Newson6 reported. The plane crashed in a wooded area. There was only one fatality in the crash, the station reported.

Inhofe had been flying to Tulsa from Salina, Kan.
 
Property records showed the Mitsubishi MU-2B-25 was registered by a company owned by Dr. Inhofe, and listed its address as the home of the doctor.

The report said Dr. Inhofe's company bought the plane from a dealer in September; it was last owned by a Utah company.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Inhofe had been a commercial pilot since 2009 and a certified flight instructor since February 0f 2012.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it's waiting for the medical examiner to identify the person who was killed in the crash. Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the medical officer said the office has asked for dental records in an attempt to positively identify the pilot, reports the Tulsa World.

Justin Allison, who was flying behind Inhofe's plane told the World he heard the airport tower declare an emergency for the plane.He called that "a red-flag raiser, because usually the pilot will declare the emergency.

"It makes you wonder what was going on in that cabin," added Allison

Crash witness Jake Bray told the World the plane spiraled to earth and burst into flames. He and his uncle ran to the wreckage but couldn't get close. "It was fully engulfed when we got there and it looked like the wings had come detached. There were tires popping ... There was nothing we could do."

Neither the elder Inhofe, who has just recovered from quadruple bypass surgery last month, nor his office has released any statement about the crash.

But Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett released a statement offering condolences, and adding Dr. Inhofe "was a man of great integrity, skilled as a surgeon, and an example for all of us. His love for his family and of his profession will always be remembered."

Inhofe, who graduated from Duke University in 1984, attended Washington University in St. Louis for medical school and graduated four years later. He did postgraduate training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, the station reported. He worked for Central States Orthopedics.

Perry was one of four children of the senator's 54-year marriage to the former Kay Kirkpatrick.

Sen. Inhofe is also a keen pilot. In 2011 he agreed to complete a remedial training program after he landed his twin-engine Cessna on a closed runway.

In September General Aviation News wrote a feature on how three generations of Inhofe — Jim, Perry and Perry's son Cole — all flew private planes.

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