While I am truly saddened that two people died in this crash and I don’t want to show any disrespect to the dead I have questions. And I know many others do as well.
Right now there isn’t much information but what we do know is that the L-39 went down, with a highly experienced and respected pilot in command. And a passenger. We know that Dave Riggs was in the other L-39 that took off in correction: the planes took off on a dual departure or formation take off, not tandem as reported by several news agencies. The difference being “tandem” would be one plane directly behind the other, two planes side by side are a dual departure and any “flight” with more than one plane who takes off together would be considered a formation flight. with N39WT, and then circled and landed safely.
Rumors are already going around about the cause of the crash. At least one is just not plausible (in my slightly informed opinion). Others..I just don’t know. For that I’ll wait for the NTSB report. It’s fairly certain that it wasn’t any type of weather condition however, which leaves, mostly, either pilot error or a mechanical problem.
But here is my question, as I’m sure many of you already know.
Who was that passenger? Was he in one of the questionable “paid flights” that we’ve been writing about for over a year. One of those “paid flights” that we have yet to understand why the FAA was allowing (or ignoring) in the first place? Is this the victim I’ve been terrified to hear about?
If so…who put together the flight? Is this one of the ones that Riggs did for Incredible Adventures? Or is this one he did through Mach One Aviation?
Will we finally find out if there is some sooper sekret waiver that the FAA has issued for Riggs to perform these flights? Or will we find out if the FAA has just chosen to turn a blind eye to it all?
I know of at least one FAA Agent who tried, and failed, to find out how those flights were being done within regulations.
Rumor has it there was a passenger in Riggs’ plane. Who knew the passenger in the doomed plane. This would make sense. If you are paying $5000 or more to go on a jet flight and do dog fighting and aerobatics, you would want to do that with someone you know. Makes it a much more memorable experience. Did they have any idea they were flying with a multi-convicted felon who already got in trouble for dangerous flying and who may possibly not even been flying legal flights? Sadly, he’ll find out now.
The sad part is, I can see Riggs wiggling out of this one too. He didn’t crash. His passenger wasn’t injured. It was all someone else’s fault (he’ll say). BUT, if Incredible Adventures put this together, or if Mach One Aviation did, there has to be some pretty heavy duty liability there.
Interesting tidbit. David Brien is an attorney in Los Angeles who defended Riggs in his NTSB hearing in Santa Monica. Mr. Brien used to own this plane (registered under DRB Helicopters in Klamath Falls OR). At that time the tail number was N139PK. He apparently sold the plane to the current owner Walt Woltosz who posted on a Warbird Exchange that he spent 14 months refurbishing the plane and getting his type rating.
When Mr. Brien owned it, the tail number was N139PK. Walt bought it and changed the tail number. My guess? Walt Woltosz met Riggs as he (Riggs) followed the plane when it was sold. And he would do so, because he needed access to these planes for these flights and other projects he’s always trying to put together (like all the dozens of movies he claims to have been involved in). He also has images of this plane on
So now, two more people involved with Riggs are dead. Another beautiful L-39 is scrap iron. And the potential for lawsuits is astronomical.
I can only ask, why dear God, will people not figure out that hooking up with this guy is just bad mojo no matter how you look at it.Share on Facebook