Pilot in fatal crash lost license due to accidents

Failed tests prevented FAA from restoring certification

Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2000

A Sitka pilot killed in a Juneau Airport crash last month lost his license in 1991 because of two previous accidents.

Anton Bowers, 69, died Aug. 31 when his Cessna 172 hit a hangar on takeoff. He did not have a valid pilot's certificate, the Federal Aviation Administration said a week after the accident.

However, it took some time to access microfilm at the FAA's Oklahoma City office to explain just why he did not have a license to pilot.

Terry Gordon, manager of the FAA Flight Standards district office in Juneau, said two previous accidents and two failed tests led to the loss of Bowers' pilot's license.

"He had an aircraft accident Sept. 3, 1989, making a landing at Crest Airport in Kent, Wash. As a result of that accident, on March 16, 1990, he underwent a re-examination for pilot competency with the FAA in Seattle and that was unsuccessful," Gordon said today.

Bowers promised officials he would try again, but failed to show up for an appointment. An emergency order of suspension was issued Jan. 10, 1991, Gordon said.

On Jan. 2, 1991, Bowers was in another crash at Lake Washington in the Seattle area. He underwent another re-examination, on Jan. 29,1991, and failed a second time. As a result, on March 19, 1991, an order of revocation was issued and became effective, Gordon said.

"Based on the facts and circumstances, he failed to demonstrate that he had the skill, care, judgment and responsibility required of the holder of a private pilot's certificate," Gordon said.

State Medical Examiner Michael Propst, who performed the autopsy on Bowers, said alcohol was suspected to have played a role in the August incident.

But Scott Erickson of the National Transportation and Safety Board in Anchorage said blood-alcohol tests of Bowers were not yet available. Toxicology reports can take two to three months, Erickson said.

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