Sen. Inhofe’s Adventures Flying the Friendly Skies

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Since they can’t agree on much else, maybe Congress can come to a consensus on a resolution to keep Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe out of the pilot’s seat.

The Smoking Gun has obtained FAA documents that show Inhofe, who’s a licensed private pilot, landed his Cessna plane on a closed runway last October in Port Isabel, Texas, even though there were men and construction equipment on the runway — and a giant X to warn people not to land there.

The FAA report on the incident says that Inhofe “touched down on the runway, ‘sky hopped’ over the six vehicles and personnel working on the runway, and then landed.” The manager of the construction project told the FAA that the senator’s reputation preceded him. “He said that the pilot was James Inhofe and this was not the first time this kind of thing had happened,” according to the documents.

Inhofe had to complete four hours of training “as a substitute for legal enforcement action” according to a Jan. 4 letter from the FAA. We can all take comfort that the training included “runway and surface incursion avoidance and aeronautical decision making.”

It wasn’t Inhofe’s first incident flying the friendly skies. Inhofe was forced to make an emergency landing back in 1999 after his airplane’s propeller fell off. He glided to a safe landing, presumably on a runway that was not marked with a giant X.

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