FAA Investigates Senator Jim Inhofe

Thursday, October 28th 2010, 2:57 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- It seems the nation's air traffic cops are taking a look at the latest incident involving Oklahoma's frequently airborne senior U.S. Senator, Jim Inhofe. 

According to numerous published reports, Senator Inhofe, who is a licensed pilot and at age 75 still flies quite a bit, was flying last week to his home in South Padre Island, Texas. There were no problems with the flight, but when he went to land his Cessna 340 at the Port Isabel Airport, there were large Xs on the main runway. The Xs, it seems, weren't there to mark the spot where the airport wanted him to land, they were indicating that the runway was closed because there were workers doing painting and maintenance work.

Senator Inhofe said he attempted to radio in to one of the workers at the airport to ask about the Xs before he landed, but the worker did not respond, so he landed anyway. He said he called the FAA himself to report the incident after he landed.

When he was leaving the fly back to Tulsa, Inhofe took off from the taxiway rather than the runway from which he should have taken off.

Inhofe said the worker who didn't answer him simply doesn't like him and refused to answer him.

Inhofe further said he's been flying into that airport for 51 years, but will now use the Brownsville airport instead.

"It's unfortunate, I'm sorry, but I'm not really concerned about it," Inhofe said.

It's not clear yet if either of these actions is serious enough to get the senator in any real trouble, but according to the FAA, they "looking into it."