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NTSB: Inhofe's son reported engine out before plane crash

By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
updated 1:20 PM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Perry Inhofe radioed that one of his engines was out, plane had control problems
  • The twin-engine aircraft went down north of the Tulsa International Airport
  • Inhofe, an orthopedic surgeon, was the son of Sen. James Inhofe

Washington (CNN) -- The son of U.S. Sen. James Inhofe radioed that he was having control problems with his twin-engine airplane and that one of the engines had shut down shortly before the plane crashed November 10, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Perry Inhofe, an orthopedic surgeon in Tulsa and the only person on the plane, died in the Owasso, Oklahoma, crash.

In a preliminary report, safety board investigators said Perry Inhofe had been cleared to land on runway 18 Left at Tulsa International Airport and had cleared the runway's outer marker when the plane began a left turn.

When the air traffic controller asked Inhofe about the deviation, Inhofe reported that he had a control problem.

"The left turn continued, and the controller then cleared the pilot to maneuver to the west and asked if he needed assistance," the report reads. "The pilot informed the controller that the left engine was shut down."

The controller declared an emergency for the pilot and asked about the number on board and the fuel remaining, but got no answer, the report says.

The plane, a Mitsubishi MU 2B-25, completed a 360-degree turn before radar contact was lost.

Several witnesses to the crash said one engine propeller appeared not to be rotating as the plane made a left turn and the wings began to rock back and forth. The plane then made a right turn, followed by a left turn, and a steep spiral to the left before it descended out of view, according to the report.

The plane's fire-damaged wreckage was found in a wooded area five miles north of the airport.

Eight days after the crash, Sen. Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, spoke on the Senate floor of his "horrible loss," thanking the Senate chaplain and others for their tributes for his son.

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