TULSA, Okla. – The family of a U.S. senator’s son who was killed in a plane crash is suing the aircraft’s manufacturers.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Tulsa County District Court claims the November 2013 crash that killed Perry Dyson Inhofe II, 51, was due to manufacturers not providing proper maintenance on the plane’s engine and parts.
Inhofe — a licensed pilot, flight instructor and Tulsa physician — was the son of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. He died after the twin-engine aircraft he was flying crashed about 5 miles north of the Tulsa International Airport runway and caught fire.
“This accident has devastated the Inhofe family, and we intend to find accountability from those responsible,” said the family’s attorney, William Angelley, in a statement.
The suit, which asks for at least $75,000 in damages, names Honeywell International Inc., Standard Aero, Standard Aero (Alliance) Inc. and International Jet Service Corp. as defendants, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1x2h7Ea ) reported.
Honeywell spokesman Scott Sayres said in a statement that the company “firmly believes neither its engines nor any of its other products were responsible for this tragic accident.”
“Honeywell takes great pride in our products and their long history of safe and reliable performance,” Sayres said.
International Jet Service declined to comment Wednesday, and StandardAero said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. A message was left with Standard Aero (Alliance) Inc.
A federal accident report said Inhofe didn’t “appropriately manage” the aircraft when one of its engines failed. The plane should have been operable in a one-engine condition, and weather wasn’t a factor in the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its probable cause report.
Angelley calls the report “absolute nonsense” in saying the plane should have been flyable with a single engine. He said the left engine shut down after the plane’s gear and flaps already had been lowered, setting up an “impossible situation” for Inhofe.
“Virtually no one could have recovered from that,” he said. “There was simply too much drag and not enough power.”
Authorities say Inhofe was conducting his first solo flight in the Mitsubishi MU-2 plane from Salina, Kansas, to Tulsa when he overshot the airport’s runway.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com