Pilot Investigated As Part Of Crash Probe

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The FAA has opened another investigation concerning California pilot Dave Riggs as an offshoot of its probe of a fatal L-39 crash that happened in Nevada in May. Riggs lost his flight privileges for a year for a 2008 buzzing of the Santa Monica pier in an L-39 and he was in formation with Doug Gilliss in his L-39 when Gilliss's jet went down near Boulder City, killing Gilliss and his passenger Richard Winslow, of Palm Desert, Calif. The FAA is investigating whether Riggs, who also had a passenger in his L-39, violated the regulations restricting the selling of seats for this type of flight.

Riggs operates Mach One Aviation, which offers aerobatic and upset recovery training in a variety of Cold War Soviet Bloc jets. According to the NTSB preliminary report (PDF), Mach One and Incredible Adventures operated the flight under Part 91 and "a group of eight people had paid for a flight package." The FAA is investigating whether the flight was conducted according to its rules. "The FAA is very actively investigating this accident and the circumstances behind the aircraft operations," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.