I’ve often thought that our elected representatives are disconnected from reality, but I didn’t know it was this bad.
Last October, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) was piloting his Cessna to Cameron County Airport in South Texas, when he decided to land on a closed runway. The closure was reported in NOTAM (Notices to Airmen) but Inhofe didn’t bother to check that. The runway was also marked with a big X across it, which Inhofe saw but decided to ignore, even though there were construction workers and vehicles on the runway. According to one worker Inhofe’s plane touched down and then “sky hopped” over six vehicles and personnel working on the runway. One vehicle driver reportedly “wet his britches”. The airport manager, who has been a pilot for 50 years and did three tours of Vietnam, said he had “never seen such a reckless disregard for human life”.
Of course, Inhofe managed to wiggle out of any legal action against him, and amazingly still has his pilots license. But then he took it one step beyond. He introduced a bill to go after the FAA for “agency overreach”. Inhofe still claims he is innocent, complaining “I did nothing wrong, but at any time I could have suffered the revocation of a license.”
As Washington Monthly put it “Inhofe is probably about as good a pilot as he is a senator. That’s not a compliment.”