Earlier local reports noted that Perry's work and home address were connected to the Mitsubishi MU-2B-25 twin turboprop that crashed outside of Tulsa this weekend. He is believed to be the only fatality from the small plane crash. Officials told the Tulsa World earlier on Monday that it would be days or weeks before the pilot was identified. Perry Inhofe was a licensed pilot and instructor and he owned two planes through a Tulsa company called Anasazi Winds, LLC, according to the World.
Like his son, Senator Inhofe is an avid flyer. According to a General Aviation News piece published earlier this fall, the Senator himself taught Perry how to fly over 30 years ago. In turn, Perry taught his son Cole how to fly. It's a family tradition. All three members of the family learned to fly on the same 1954 Grumman Tiger.
Perry Inhofe, who was 52, worked as an orthopedic surgeon in Tulsa. His plane crashed five miles north of Tulsa International Airport on Sunday, towards the end of a 43-minute flight from Salina, Kansas. Shortly before the crash, Inhofe issued a request for immediate assistance. The Tulsa World notes that a pilot flying in the vicinity of the crash heard air traffic controllers say that Inhofe's plane experienced engine failure. But that, and even the identity of the pilot, have not yet been confirmed by officials.
Following the report, short messages of condolences started pouring in on Twitter:
Oh God this is so so awful. Condolences to Sen. Inhofe http://t.co/cI8Gwg1xD6— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 11, 2013
Please lift up Senator Inhofe and his family in your prayers http://t.co/pJy1ZziWzt— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) November 11, 2013
Senator Inhofe returned to the Senate last week after emergency heart surgery earlier in the fall. His first interview since returning to the Capitol was published just last night. Neither his family, nor his office, has released a statement confirming or addressing the report.