Santa Monica Pier Incident Brings Unwelcome Scrutiny On Jet Warbirds | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne Unmanned-
Alt. Wednesdays

Airborne Flight Training-Alt. Wednesdays

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne Special Programs!
Airborne-YouTube  Airborne Unlimited--08.03.20 Airborne-Unmanned--08.05.20   NEW! Airborne-Flight Training--07.29.20 Airborne Unlimited--08.07.20  The 2020 Avionics Innovation Preview!

Airborne On ANN

Airborne Unlimited--08.03.20

Airborne-Unmanned--08.05.20

NEW! Airborne-Flight Training--07.29.20

Airborne Unlimited--08.07.20

Airborne's Annual April 1st Episode

Mon, Nov 09, 2009

Santa Monica Pier Incident Brings Unwelcome Scrutiny On Jet Warbirds

2008 Buzz Job Cost Pilot His License

After making several low passes over the Santa Monica Pier in November of 2008, pilot David G. Riggs lost his flying priveleges and still faces criminal misdemeanor charges for what turned out to be a publicity stunt for an as-yet-unreleased movie. While Riggs had a court date set for Monday, the incident has prompted the FAA in the region to take a closer look at the private ownership of military aircraft certified in the "Experimental" category.

The Los Angeles Times reports there are approximately 5,600 military aircraft registered as "Experimental" in the U.S., which are limited to air shows, flight demonstrations, and training over sparsely-populated areas. They may not carry passengers unless approved by the FAA.

The aircraft used to buzz the Santa Monica Pier was an Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, a Soviet Bloc trainer. Riggs and another pilot flying a Canadian-registerd Albatros were involved, but only Riggs was brought up on charges. The other pilot, Skip Holm, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran of more than 350 combat missions for U.S. Air Force with three Distinguished Flying Crosses. He retired a lieutenant colonel in 1992. Riggs, on the other hand, first received a pilots license in 1984, and has multiple convictions for wire fraud, bank fraud and passport fraud.

Two FAA investigators said Riggs continued to sell flights in the L-39 after he lost his license. They also said he did not hold a commercial rating or obtain a waiver to carry paying passengers. FAA inspectors Kevin Sullivan and George Erdel said the L-39 was in disrepair and was being used illegally as a camera platform for movie shoots. 

Sullivan and Erdel, both of whom no longer are employed by the FAA, said their investigation was cut short with no explanation. The FAA, for it's part, says the facts speak for themselves. Los Angeles-based FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the LA Times "We revoked Mr. Riggs' pilot's license. We also required Mr. Riggs to perform work on his aircraft to make it airworthy and we documented that the work was, in fact, done."

Gregor says the FAA is still "keeping an eye" on Mr. Griggs, who could re-apply for an airman certificate a year following the revocation.

FMI: www.faa.gov

Advertisement

More News

WWII Warbirds Readying For The 75th Commemoration Of The End Of WWII

“Salute Their Service, Honor Their Hope” Is The Theme Of The Commemoration In Hawaii Co-Chairs of the 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII are looking forward to the p>[...]

NTSB Prelim: Cessna 140

About 2 Minutes Into The Flight, The Engine Started To Run A "Little Bit Rough And Shaky" On July 18, 2020, about 0745 central daylight time, a Cessna 140 airplane, N140AB, was sub>[...]

Eastern Michigan University Aviation Program Clarifies Upcoming Changes

...They Are NOT Closing, But Changes Are Definitely Underway The Eastern Michigan University Aviation Program is putting out the word that they are NOT closing, but changes are def>[...]

OC Air Show Still On Track After City Coughs Up Another $100K

Air Show Producer Claims Major Losses Due To Pandemic The OC Air Show will take place on its rescheduled date of August 15-16, 2020. "The beautiful beaches and oceanfront of Ocean >[...]

Classic Aero-TV: How To Start A GREAT Aero-Life -- Horizon Hobby’s Alex Vanover

From 2015: Alex Has An Amazing Future Ahead Of Him... Because He Wants It It seems like most pilots love their toys, and even more so if they fly. ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2020 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC