U.S Pilot Missing After Crash In China
U.S. pilot David Riggs is missing and his Chinese translator is dead after the Lancair that Riggs was flying crashed into a lake in China about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. Rescuers are still looking for Riggs. According to Riggs' website, he has set a speed record in a Lancair IVP Sport Class race plane of 312 mph, but it's not clear if that's what he was flying at the time of the crash. The AP said the airplane was a "high-performance" model that "had been assembled at a local airport." Riggs lost his FAA pilot certificate last year after a fatal crash in a fly-for-hire operation he was involved in.
Riggs was flying an L-39 in formation with another L-39 flown by Doug Gilliss in May 2012 in Nevada, when Gilliss' aircraft crashed, killing him and passenger Richard Winslow. FAA officials said the jets were not certified to carry paying passengers. At the time, Riggs said he had "done nothing wrong" and would fight the revocation. Riggs has run afoul of various authorities before. His flight privileges were suspended for a year after he buzzed the Santa Monica pier in an L-39 in 2008. On his website, he is described as CEO of Mach One Aviation in Studio City, Calif. He has flown in several Hollywood movies.