NTSB: Denver Had No License

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.: Because of his two arrests on drunk-driving charges, John Denver was flying Sunday without a valid pilot's license, an NTSB investigator said today.

Under FAA rules, Denver's medical certificate, which must accompany a valid flying license, was denied because of the arrests. To reinstate it, Denver would have had to petition the FAA with proof he no longer suffered from an alcohol problem.

According to the FAA, Denver had neither surrendered his medical certificate nor begun the necessary action to recover it. But apparently, running afoul of the FAA wasn't on Denver's mind Sunday.

The assistant pro at Spyglass Hill Golf Course says Denver turned his friends down for another round of golf, saying he had a new plane and wanted to practice his takeoffs and landings.

Although a routine toxicology report will be performed by police, the investigation will likely center on Denver's broken exchange with the air traffic tower and on the plane engine which has been recovered, and may corroborate witness speculation that the ultra-light Long EZ had mechanical trouble before its descent.