Reading this over at AVWeb make my blood boil.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) says he won’t guarantee he’ll be more vigilant about checking NOTAMs after he landed on a closed runway occupied by maintenance workers ten days ago in Texas. “People who fly a lot just don’t do it,” Inhofe told the Tulsa World. “I won’t make any commitments.” Inhofe added that while “technically” pilots should “probably” check NOTAMs, it would be impractical for him to do so on the many flights he makes to small airports in Oklahoma each year. The FAA has confirmed it is investigating the Oct 21 incident in which Inhofe landed a Cessna 340 on an occupied closed runway at Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport, Texas, He was reportedly carrying three others in the light twin when he made the landing on a runway bearing oversized painted Xs, a large red truck, other vehicles, and construction workers. The workers were using loud equipment at the time and didn’t hear the plane’s approach, so one person ran to warn them. A supervisor immediately reported the incident to the FAA and told TulsaWorld.com he was “still shaking” when he reached the hangar to confront the pilot. For his part, Inhofe said he didn’t see the Xs until late on final and was concerned he might not be able to abort safely. He said he landed “well off to the side” of the workers.
That’s just nuts. Not only is he telling us that he’s knowingly violating the law and ditching his responsibility as a pilot (checking NOTAMs), he’s telling us that he didn’t even bother to look at the runway before landing on it (he missed the X marks, large red truck, and people). And when he did finally see them, he was worried that he couldn’t safely go around.
Dear god, I hope I never have to share the sky with this sad excuse for a pilot. And I’d certainly never want to fly with him.
I’d be ashamed if I had been his instructor.
Update: As of Feb 2011, it looks like he got some remedial training. I hope it helps!