Captain Mike Bowers, a long-time United Airlines pilot and favorite columnist in the airline’s in-flight magazine has lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old.
In Memoriam: United Captain Mike Bowers
Bowers began his career in the United States Navy, graduating from the elite Fighter Weapons School (now known as the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program) as an F-14 Tomcat pilot. As a Top Gun pilot, Bowers spent nine years on active duty and 17 years in the Naval reserves.
He made the transition to commercial and flew for People Express, which later merged with Continental Airlines, which later merged with United Airlines. Over his career, he flew the 727, 737, 757, 767 and 777. In fact, he finished his career as the Chief Pilot at Newark Liberty International Airport, a position that allowed him to mentor many pilots over the years.
You may recognize his face from United’s in-flight magazine, Hemispheres. For many years, he wrote the popular “Ask The Pilot” column, which offered concise answers on aviation-related questions.
Over his career, he welcomed more than a million passengers onboard, but his favorite flights were United’s annual “Fantasy Flights” which offer underprivileged children a chance to visit the North Pole. These were staffed by all-volunteer crews and Bowers relished this annual Christmas tradition. He also flew rescue mission to Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake, helping to deliver valuable cargo to those in great need.
In 2019, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors gave him three month to live. He ended up living for 16 more months.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, two children, and seven grandchildren.
Captain Bowers, I wish you CAVU*. Thanks for your service.
*a familiar acronym to pilots that stands for “ceiling and visibility unlimited.”
Enjoyed his columns – wishes to his family
AS A RETIRED 30 YR UNITED EMPLOYEE I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE FOLKS INVOLVED WITH THE. FANTASY FLIGHT each year were special. They gave there time..love..and joy to see those little kids enjoy life but for only a few hours..GO SIR TO YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN. GOD BLESS
My deepest condolences to Mike’s family. I was very lucky to meet Mike while I work for Continental/united Airlines is Newark NJ. Heaven just got one of the best.
It was a joy & an honor to be a part of this persons time on earth. I doubt if I was ever even a blip on his radar….but thats not whats important. He touched many lives. He was kind. He mattered. He will be missed. He will be remembered. His goodness…his love will live on. Thank you my captain, my friend.
My prayers and condolences to Mike’s family and friends. Mike was a great writer for United’s magazine. He went above and beyond to be a servant of man-kind, good citizen and to represent our company United Airlines.
Worked with Mike on several Fantasy Flights and he always made it special for everyone involved…especially the kids! RIP Mike!
Are you the Chris Orr from Denver who recently retired? Oh how I miss you! Hope you saw the story I wrote on you.
What a nice guy he was. I flew with him a few times. Super nice guy, and he was one of those pilots that you remember years later.
My prayers of comfort and peace to the family. It’s always too soon when death comes. However we cling to memories that can bring smiles in knowing what a blessings Captain Mike Bowers was.
United Airline Retiree from Newark International Airport
RIP Captain Bowers. You are loved by many! God bless you.
Mike was a pilot’s chief pilot. It was a privilege to work for him. RIP
Eternal rest grant unto Mike O Lord, & let perpetual light shine upon him & be with You in Everlasting Life. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Thank you for your service. A true hero. RIP Captain.
RIP Captain Bowers, thank you for your service. Condolences to his family & friends.
Might also be worth mentioning that his family has created a scholarship at the University of Oklahoma in Mike’s name.: https://www. giving.oufoundation.org/OnlineGivingWeb and type in “Michael Bowers” in the “search for a fund” section.
Thanks Julian for sharing.
A REAL GENTLEMAN!
Thank you for the love you always showed my children & I for many years .
Transition well Captain Mike
God’s grace & mercy to your family!
Captain Bowers you are no longer flying a 777 but you are now flying with the angels. God speed