Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) “’sky-hopped’ his Cessna aircraft over six vehicles and ground personnel as he tried to land last year on a closed runway in Texas, sending frightened airport workers fleeing for their lives, according to federal records and audio clips released Wednesday,” the AP reports.
The Oklahoma Republican issued a brief statement in response to the new details about the Oct. 21 incident at the Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport, calling it "an old story."
"I have completed the program required by the (Federal Aviation Administration), and this matter is over," Inhofe wrote.
In a new audio clip, construction supervisor Sidney Boyd told the FAA he was on the runway and that the senator "scared" workers and nearly hit a truck before landing.
In the same call, Boyd described how Inhofe, who has more than 50 years of flying experience, came over after he landed, demanding to know,"What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace."
The FAA probe found that Inhofe knew the runway was marked closed but "still elected to land, avoiding the men and equipment on the runway."
Instead of “facing legal action, Inhofe agreed to complete a remedial training program, according to a Jan. 4 letter to the senator from Robert J. O’Keefe, an aviation safety inspector.”
"This letter constitutes neither an admission nor an adjudication of a violation," O’Keefe’s letter said.