On September 10, 2019, John Edward Mermis of Kent, Washington, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Seattle, Washington, to operating a plane without an Airman’s Certificate.
The investigation revealed that in July 2017, Mermis flew a private aircraft at Crest Airpark in Kent although he knew the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revoked his certification through an emergency order on February 11, 2005.
Witnesses to the July 2017 flight said the aircraft had engine difficulty just before takeoff. Despite this fact, Mermis took off, and the plane experienced a severe power loss that required an emergency landing. As Mermis returned to Crest Airpark, he flew dangerously low over several homes and businesses.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with FAA's assistance.