KETCHUM, Okla. - Quick Facts:
- A small plane went off the runway near Grand Lake Sunday
- The pilot did it to avoid deer on the runway
- No injuries were reported
A small plane ran off the runway at South Grand Lake Regional Airport Sunday.
Troopers said the plane belongs to Senator Jim Inhofe. They confirmed he was on board.
FAA officials told FOX23 the pilot ran off the runway to avoid a deer.
FOX23 reported the story as breaking news on FOX23 News at 9:
Donelle Harder, a spokesperson for Inhofe, released the following statement Sunday night:
"Inhofe was out flying with another local pilot, who were in two separate plance. Due to strong weather that came up this evening, Inhofe was forced to land his plane at Ketchum. Inhofe walked away and is now home with family celebrating the 4th. OHP has been notified."
No injuries were reported and the plane only received minor damage.
Inhofe is 81 years old. He has had a pilot's license for more than 50 years.
In that time, he has logged thousands of hours in the air, some of which were rocky.
In 2006, Inhofe ran one of his planes off the runway at Jenks Jones Riverside Airport. In 2010, he landed a plane on a closed runway in Texas and reportedly almost hit construction workers in the process.
The FAA made him retrain after that incident to keep his license.
Officials confirmed he was at the controls of his Harmon Rocket, an experimental plane, when he landed at South Grand Lake Regional Airport due to bad weather, which he is certified to do.
Officials at the airport said it was so rainy that it is impossible to make out the scene in security pictures.
Inhofe's pilot's license indicates that he must have glasses for near vision. The FAA is investigating whether or not he was wearing that sort of eyewear.
There is no age limit for recreational pilots, though airline pilots must retire at 65.
Inhofe did pass a medical exam for his license in April.
The plane Inhofe was flying was licensed for the next two years.
5 things to know on FOX23.com:
- Man drowns at Blue Hole Park in Salina
- OHP: Sen. Jim Inhofe's plane drives off runway near Grand Lake to avoid deer
- Woman stabbed after wasting cheese dip, police say
- Police identify person of interest in fatal east Tulsa triple shooting
- Army vet with incredible aim saves eagle by shooting it out of tree
© 2019 Cox Media Group.