China was warned in 2010

When Riggs was planning to go to China for airshows in 2010 they were warned. They were warned again this year.

The letter shown herewas sent to them in 2010 warning them of Riggs’ activities and the dangers involved in dealing with him. The person who sent the letter even took the time to have an official translator copy it into Chinese to insure there would be no confusion caused by a language barrier. It was ignored.

This year I personally talked to, and sent information to, people involved in the airshow who were trying to prevent his attendance. This included sending the NTSB Oral Decision revoking Riggs’ American pilot certificate and much of the information included on this website. I also verified, by phone, with Transport Canada that Riggs had NOT received his commercial license there.

In addition, a media person who lives outside of the United States made several calls to the United States Consulate in Shenyang, starting on Friday 13 September, shortly before Riggs’ arrival in China. She advised the Consulate that he was expected at any time to participate in the air show and filled them in on his background.

After she made another call on Monday, confirming that Riggs had arrived in Faku and yet another call early on Tuesday morning, September 17, providing more details, an assistant to the Consul General, Scott Weinhold rang her back around 10.30 am (Shenyang local time) that morning to confirm that the information she had given them (which is all in the public arena) had been passed on to a team at the Consulate who would investigate. That information included the address for this website. The assistant, after explaining that Consulate staff had been frantically busy with another issue so had not been able to get back to her earlier, said that as the Riggs matter was now in hand it was not policy to report back any information they may find out or actions they may take.

The extensive details this media person gave the consulate included background information on Riggs, the revocation of his pilot’s certificates in the US, the fact that he had pending bankruptcies and is a convicted felon – which he probably did not tell Chinese officials, and that he was receiving worker’s compensation after breaking his femur earlier in the year and that this claim for that compensation was being investigated. She suggested the obvious – how could he fly safely if he was still on workers’ comp for his injuries? Did he have a medical certificate?

She also told the Consulate that Riggs’ time for completing a substantial amount of mandatory community service for buzzing the Santa Monica pier in November 2008, was fast running out.

But most importantly, she said that if something was not done urgently he could kill someone as people had already died in planes under his management.

A little over three hours after that confirmation call from the Consulate, Riggs crashed his plane into a lake in Faku, killing an 18-year-old translator and by all accounts, himself, though he is still officially reported as missing.

Since then, repeated calls by this media person to the US Consulate General’s office in Shenyang have produced only a looped answer-phone message.

Again, this begs the question why is it that US government always seems to drag their feet or is oblivious to the actions of this man? We can only wonder now if the Consulate staff are questioning themselves over the fact that if they had responded with more urgency the young woman who took that ill-fated ride in Rigg’s plane would be alive today. The even bigger question is why authorities in the US did not warn the Consulate in Shenyang about Riggs imminent arrival. Perhaps they don’t have a legal responsibility to do so, but they most definitely should feel a moral one. Why is it always concerned citizens who have to do the footwork. This time though – to no avail. We were in time, they were not.

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