Senator's plane makes emergency landing

Dec. 2, 2008 at 4:34 PM

TULSA, Okla., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A blowout on an airliner delayed the departure of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., to World AIDS Day in Washington, the lawmaker told the Tulsa (Okla.) World.

Inhofe's American Eagle regional jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Tulsa Monday after a tire was damaged on takeoff for a flight to Chicago. The plane circled to burn off fuel before returning to the airport.

Inhofe headed for Washington Tuesday to join other members of a U.S. congressional delegation heading off on a fact-finding trip to Africa.

"I will be traveling to several African nations meeting with key African leaders who are on the front lines in fighting HIV/AIDS in their countries," Inhofe said.

The World said Tuesday the delegation would be visiting Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.

It wasn't the first unusual landing Inhofe has made at a Tulsa airport, the World said. The licensed pilot was at the controls of an experimental aircraft that spun out at the city's Riverside Airport in 2006.

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