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November 19, 2013

NTSB: Oklahoma senator’s son noted engine trouble

OWASSO —

The son of Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe reported his small plane was experiencing engine trouble shortly before he died in a crash near Tulsa, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Dr. Perry Inhofe was the only person aboard the twin-engine plane when it crashed Nov. 10 near the Tulsa suburb of Owasso. The NTSB report released Monday said Perry Inhofe took an unexpected turn and told air traffic control that he had “a control problem.”

“The pilot informed the controller that the left engine was shut down,” the preliminary report said. “The controller then declared an emergency for the pilot and asked about the number of souls on board the airplane and the fuel remaining. No further communications were received from the pilot.”

Witnesses told investigators that one engine propeller appeared to not be rotating shortly before the crash. Perry Inhofe, who was a certified commercial pilot, was flying from Salina, Kan., to Tulsa.

Perry Inhofe, who worked at Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa, was one of four children of Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator. 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.

Jim Inhofe returned to the Senate floor Monday and thanked Senate leaders, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, for their condolences.

“I had a horrible loss eight days ago, losing a son,” Inhofe said.

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