U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed last night that Dr. Perry Inhofe–the son of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee–was killed on Sunday afternoon in the crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B near Owasso, Okla. Dr. Inhofe–a commercial pilot with single-engine, multi-engine and instrument ratings, as well as a CFII–was the sole-occupant pilot of the twin turboprop. FAA records show that Dr. Inhofe was issued a third-class medical certificate last month.
According to reports, Dr. Inhofe radioed controllers at Tulsa International Airport, saying he had engine trouble and asking for “immediate assistance.” The MU-2B–N856JT, registered to Inter-Mountain Powersports of Salt Lake City–crashed minutes later, at 3:46 p.m. local time, in a wooded area some five miles from the airport. FlightAware data shows that the aircraft departed from Salina, Kan., shortly after 3 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Tulsa about 43 minutes later. The aircraft was destroyed, accordingto a November 12 FAA accident notice.
This accident appears to be the second fatal crash involving an MU-2 since the FAA issued new rules in 2008 mandating stringent training for pilots who fly the type. These rules were enacted after a spate of MU-2 accidents and yet another review of some aspects of the airplane’s certification in 2005.