David Glen Riggs 1962- 2013



Divers have found the body of a missing U.S. stunt pilot whose plane crashed into a lake in northeast China while attempting a tricky maneuver in the rain, the head of the team searching for him said Friday.

David Riggs, whose U.S. pilot’s license had been suspended, had been missing since Tuesday’s accident outside the city of Shenyang in which his young female Chinese translator died. Riggs was in China to take part in an air show and was apparently rehearsing one of his tricks when the accident occurred.

Zhang Fang said Riggs’ body was found during a search of the bottom of Lake Caihu by divers from the Dalian branch of the Beihai Rescue Bureau.

“It’s likely he was killed on impact, but we don’t know for sure yet,” Fang said by telephone from the accident scene.



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55 Responses to David Glen Riggs 1962- 2013

  1. Avidwiz@aol.com says:

    It’s about time. America was going to get a bill for polluting the lake, Hazardous Waste.
    This is the end of Riggs but not the end of the story.

    • John says:

      “Avidwiz@aol.com” why are you using Dave’s e-mail as your screen name on this website? I can suggest something more appropriate for you!

  2. Buck says:

    Again, my deepest sympathies go out to the young translators family.
    I will say a prayer for her when I am up flying this afternoon. I can only hope that the young girls family realizes that Riggs was an abomination in the US pilot community. He in no way reflects anything about US general aviation or Americans. He was a liar and a phony. A wannabe who listed great accomplishments that were utter lies. They should contact a Senator or Congressman/Woman and ask how this could have happened to their daughter. Why didn’t the authorities act before their daughter became his last victim. Start with the FAA, I would be curious about the excuse they give.

  3. WM pilot says:

    Dave Riggs dead?….Karma is real! He killed many with his lack of concern for safety, water skiing with a Lancair? that is just beyond stupid…. maybe it was suicide.

    On the other hand my heart goes out to the family of the woman killed with this s.o.b. that was flying without a license.

  4. Mojave Joe says:

    The curse is over.

  5. Deb says:

    I understand that you all had a lot of pent up hatred for Riggs but he does have a family that loves him and that is grieving his loss as well. Have some compassion people instead of being heartless A@@holes!!!! He is my cousin and did we always see eye to eye…no but can’t your hatred take some time off while we mourn the loss of our loved one??

    • Riggamortis says:


      Calling victims of your cousin “a@@holes!!!!” is not exactly a convincing argument for us to show some undeserved compassion. The “a@@hole” is that piece of shit they dredged up from the bottom of a cold, dark, Chinese lake.

      Your cousin (who I, at one time, considered a friend) stole from me then used my name to steal millions from innocent others, nearly destroying me, my good name, reputation and my career. Your cousin attacked me with a knife and my employees with a gun and threatened the life of some of my friends and their families. Your cousin cost one associate his house and another his marriage. After millions of hard-earned dollars lost, years in court and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees I and the rest of civilized society celebrate the demise of a callous, cowardly, convicted felon who, like a sociopathic parasite, fed on the life’s blood of all those who had the misfortune of coming in contact with him before your cousin flew his last illegal and ill-fated flight killing himself and an innocent, 18 year-old girl while her mother stood and watched. Your cousin was the direct cause of the death of at least five other innocent people with loved ones who still grieve.

      Deb, all our compassion is reserved for your cousin’s victims. If you don’t want to read the truth about your cousin, David Glen Riggs, and how all who crossed his path feel about him, then don’t come to this website. Here is where the weary, wounded, worn-out, angry, aggravated, assaulted, victimized, vindicated, vexed and down right sick and tired of being beaten, abused, marked, stalked, conned, crushed, left in dire straits and filled with disgust for having made the mistake of allowing ourselves to be befriended by a fiend.

      Your cousin was a cancer on society who knew the difference between right and wrong but chose to act otherwise, preferring to lie, cheat and steal his way through life.

      Deb, your cousin showed no compassion for any living thing and deserves nothing but disdain even in death…

      Do the world a favor and bury that son-of-a-bitch deep.

    • Kwang Waise says:

      I worked for your cousin for two years and had a front row seat to his criminal behavior in how he ran his business. I saw contract fraud, withholding payment to vendors who trusted him so that he could fly his jet. I saw wholesale manipulation of financial statements to cover the money he was spending on pet projects. His partners were too stupid that they never requested the statements directly from the accountant. If an employee quit he would send emails to the employees’ new employer with outright lies why the employee left. I saw him fire “on the spot” a newly hired receptionist because she did not connect a call fast enough for him. He berated his employees in public. His favorite trick for financing his jet fuel cost was to pay vendors using his Black AX card then phony up disputes or inquires so that AX would issue a credit while it was being investigated, then he would charge the fuel on the card. The poor vendor would have fronted thousands of dollars in equipment and was stuck. He provided false information to the INS. He blackmailed people at Studios so that they would continue to route business to his company. He collected $100,000s in sales taxes, but never reported it to the state.
      He used a phony contract with a major studio so that he could be granted a line of credit with the bank, then spent it all.
      Every personal expense he and Peaslee had was paid through the company. Never reporting any income to the IRS.
      The only good thing I can say is that working for your cousin motivated me to get out the entertainment business and never look back.

    • John says:

      Deb, my condolences to you and all of Dave’s family:(

  6. Phil says:

    Is the Zhang Fang quoted in this article the same Zhang Fang who serves as Deputy Chairman of AOPA China?

  7. LUVRV8 says:

    Deb, how about you show some compassion. Round up all of his assets, hidden and others, sell them and pay off some of the victims that Dave has screwed over.

  8. Riigs says:

    Deb, Riggs could be considered a mass murderer. I can think of at least 5 people who were killed as a result of his actions. It sucks you are related to him, but I doubt you will get much compassion out of this group.

  9. Bentpro says:

    He was a son, brother and uncle. Not sure if he had remarried. A very colorful past and present, but a human being. He had no fear, and unfortunately it cost him and the young translator their lives. Very doubtful he was responsible for any other lives but his own and translator. He was always considered a hotrod with cars and later in life planes. Long ago his knick name was Turbo Dave. I hope he has connected with his Mother, Virginia that preceded his death some years ago.

    • MV says:

      He was a malignant narcissist, and therein a bad human being. Not a colorful past, a wake of wreckage. I’ve been reading about this gormless feck for all of 30 minutes, have seen the type before, been burned by this type before, and now can spot this type of reckless leech very quickly. you are very casual about his latest victim, and her mother, who watched the accident with terror and then horror. Turbo Dave was a turbo a$$hole.

  10. Avidwiz@aol.com says:

    I doubt very much Riggs went where his mom went. There’s a special kind of hell for people like Riggs.
    Riggs was a liar, thief, convicted felon, sociopath, wife beater, conman and career criminal. Riggs had 5 known deaths linked directly to him. There was not one redeeming quality about Riggs. He poisoned everything he touched and everyone he met. Riggs was a poor pilot in every sense of the word. No concern for safety or the lives he put in jeopardy time and time again. Countless aircraft destroyed, endangering the public, lives lost. Everything Riggs claimed he was… He wasn’t. Riggs never flew in movies, never won an Emmy, never held world records, never did anything other then lie, cheat and steal. Riggs was evil and his legacy will always and forever be that……. Evil.

  11. Bentpro says:

    You must be a woman scorned to have such hate for an individual. I’m not saying he wasn’t everything you mentioned, but damn the guy is dead and you’re still ranting and raving… What will you have to talk about in 6 months when all is forgotten? What will happen to your website? I guess for people with no life you will search out someone new to criticize.

    • admin says:

      Since that isn’t the person who wrote the website, you would be wrong. I”m not “ranting and raving” about anything except the fact that an 18 year old girl is dead because nobody did anything to stop him when he continued to break laws. Because Richard Winslow is dead because nobody did anything to stop him when he continued to break laws. Because his last “wife” is destroyed and bankrupt because nobody did anything to stop him when he continued to break laws. Because many people lost millions of dollars and nobody would listen and do anything to stop him. He may have been “Turbo Dave” many years ago but he was a danger, a criminal, a sociopath (according to the FBI reports) and someone who had no desire to be anything else. You act as though all of this site was written since the day he crashed. no. This is over 2 1/2 years of documenting his 30+ years of criminal activity. He sued me, he lost. He threatened me, he lost. Are there opinions on this site? Yes, but there are many many many more facts. Everything I wrote was proven and documented. Everything is true. Sadly his story was one you couldn’t make up if you tried.

    • John in Brisbane says:

      Yeah grave dancing is the hobby of fools. There is generally something wrong with people who can’t behave civilly after someone has died. And two people are dead. Its over for them. That’s really sad. Riggs was an innocent child once and for whatever reason, he became someone who caused a lot of harm and pain. My sympathy is with his victims. He’s now paid the price for all of that. I’m not particularly religious but if there’s a maker, Riggs has now met them and I reckon we should leave the judgements for them. Victims who can’t let go are perpetual victims. Don’t let whatever this man did to you cause to be be permanently damaged.

      • Avidwiz@aol.com says:

        Yes, it’s all over for the dead but not for the living. The loved ones who lost a father, a son, a daughter, a husband or friend. They are still alive and they still carry the pain that Riggs so willingly doled out. Each and every victim, every loved one, anyone that had the misfortune to cross paths with Riggs has a right to vent and revel in the fate that Riggs so justly deserved.
        In time this will all be a dark footnote in aviation history, a fading black eye to all those who could have stopped Riggs but did nothing, a distant memory of a nightmare. But until that time comes, until people have a chance to make peace within themselves, each and every one has a right to express their feelings.
        Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.

        • John in Brisbane says:

          Whatever your name is,

          Grave dancing is poor form. In wartime, there might be a savage glee in seeing your enemy brought down. In the heat of the moment, that’s understandable. For the rest of us in civil societies, grave dancing, especially publicly, is some of the worst of behaviour. In my life I’ve chastised people for celebrating the deaths of individuals that I’ve deeply disliked. Irrespective of their deeds, to dance on their grave says that you’re not much better than them, or that they’ve brought you down to their level. People with real dignity and class don’t lower themselves like that. Whatever shoes people are wearing, and where-ever those shoes have taken them, it’s their choice to stand tall, or not.

          • Avidwiz@aol.com says:

            You have a right your opinion and you can live your life anyway you please, but real class is to allow other people the same freedom, to live their live as they please. It’s pretty apparent that the vast majority of people, here as well as many other forums, blogs, news sites, etc., are quite satisfied with the expected outcome of Riggs.
            Unless you’ve had the misfortune to cross paths with Riggs you could never understand. If you don’t like reading what you see you also have the freedom not to come here and read. Don’t come here to preach to others how to live their lives.

          • sparky says:

            John, i’m grave breakdancing, so take your pontificating hole and your shoes somewhere else.

    • sparky says:

      Hey bentpro, i’ll be here in 6 months criticizing your fucking idiotic banter. Check back and see…

  12. I knew Dave Riggs before any of the aviation deaths. My memories pre-date the loss of life or the tragedy that came later. No disrespect to anyone that lost their lives, I am just remembering him as I knew him.
    My memories of Dave Riggs are much more innocent but didn’t seem so at the time. We worked together professional on and off for several years.

    I met him when he was moving to LA from Florida. I was young, inexperienced and had not come across anyone like Dave Riggs before.
    He was big-talking, fearless guy that seemed to get things done. He was able to network quickly in LA. I was impressed how fast he got work.
    It was one deal after another. He was unfazed by things that fell apart, he just kept moving. Everyone in his life was part of a deal. He got people to do favors, freebies and many to roll out the red carpet for him. (that last part was probably just his spin…and boy, could he spin)

    I feel so silly that I believed what he said, but the truth is…I wanted to believe. This guy was a do-er. I wished I was as fearless as he was.
    He told me the reason he finally moved from FL to CA was to edit a Brad Pitt movie. After months went by, I asked where the film was…”The movie didn’t get released because Brad Pitt decided to take his career in a different direction and tied up the film in litigation.”

    Did you know, Dave came up with the slogan “This Bud’s for You”?

    He married a very talented and beautiful woman. Dave was not a good looking guy, how did he talk his way into that? The relationship or company he formed with his new wife didn’t last long. During his marriage, he got a contract with a studio. He told me about his plan to get even more money out of the studio. He was making arrangements to sue the studio even as the work was being done. The deal was set up to break the contract…he was working an angle on an angle.

    He lied, he yelled and he never stopped. I watched his movements with equal parts amazement and disgust. But it really was oddly impressive to see someone so unbound by truth, honor or social norms. Dave would humiliate or threaten people into doing his bidding. Towards the end of our working together, I more feared the damage he’d do if crossed him than anything else.

    I made a conscious break from him when it got to be too much. I saved two of his voicemails on my phone to remind me why I make this break. One was him screaming at the top of his lungs how I crossed him and how he would destroy me for it. The second was him calling to apologize when he realized my ‘sin’ was just another of his schemes he pushed me into.

    RIP Dave Riggs

    • John in Brisbane says:

      Nice post mate. You’re describing someone the likes of which I’ve known a few times in my life. Beautifully described. Especially how they are impressive and horrifying all at once. One of my oldest friends is bit like this guy. The song “Massive Attack – Protection” could have been written about her. Like her, I bet Riggs had undiagnosed issues related to serious nature or nurture stuff.

      Thanks for sharing and for doing it so well.

  13. MV says:

    An 18 year year old female translator (read: helpless young girl) was in the plane with him when he crashed. She died. She must have been terrified, and he must not have cared at all. I just learned about this guy two minutes ago, and I’m glad it is because he’s gone.

  14. Aderline says:


  15. Avidwiz@aol.com says:

    Did you know, Dave came up with the slogan “This Bud’s for You”?
    Yet another of Riggs’ lies. If you research the dates when that campaign was out you’ll find Riggs was far too young. Lie, lie, lie..

  16. Afterburned says:

    So smart he was dangerous at any cost, passive/aggressive and sick & certifiable. Belligerent, reckless without one single redeeming quality – a pathological, nefarious fraud with plenty of blood on his hands; and those are some of the nicest things one could say about him. Couldn’t tell the truth to save his life, and obviously his lies cost him his life. May he forever afterburn.

  17. RU Serious says:

    Is it time to move on to the next aviation criminal?

  18. inegoti84u says:

    He was a wanna-be CE)

    A wanna-be Director/Producer

    …and a wanna-be stunt-pilot, the only difference is that the a failure in the latter is death – He got what he had coming and in the end, it makes me mad that he died doing what he loved, and not in such a way, say paralysis, which would have made the rest of the world even happier…..

    Now let’s clean up the mess, sweep it under the rug, move forward and go after those who supported his cons, like the attorneys, CPA’s banks and others who enabled David to commit his cons – For without them, he was not smart enough to have perpetrated his crimes. I know, I was the only one who beat him at his own game (panopoly).

  19. My Name Here says:

    What “tricky maneuver” was he was trying to preform? Landing or Takeoff?……….

    • admin says:

      According to the reports he was trying to do the “wheels on water” maneuver.

      • Nada Dumas says:

        The water ski stunt has been recorded on video, go to YouTube and lookup “waterski T6″. Also Google “Pitts water ski”. The difference is that these are taildraggers and are amenable to this stunt. Doing this in a tricycle gear plane is suicide….DUH! The fact that he even tried is a testament to his lack of pilot skills and knowledge in understanding the differences between taildraggers and tricycle gear planes and the different locations of the landing gear in relation to the CG (Center of Gravity).

  20. EEE says:

    Dave Riggs is dead and with him goes the need for this website. I applaud your efforts in bringing attention to Dave’s schemes while he was alive and in a position to defraud others but perhaps it is time to put it to sleep. The event we all feared- that he would get more people killed- has come to pass and there’s no undoing it. If anything the site failed in its purpose of bringing attention to him to save lives. There is no further purpose for this site other than to further criticize a deceased individual and regardless of his antics that ranks pretty low on the decency scale.

    I request, in the name of human decency and in the ethics we claim to hold dear, that you take the site down.

    • sparky says:

      Eee, we who have lived under the bullied threats of Dave Riggs are going to gloat in that fuckers death for a while. If you dont like it, change the channel.

      • admin says:

        I see you got the news sparky :) Good to hear from you again.

        • Christina says:

          Sparky!!!! I can’t believe that the nightmare (for the most part) is all kind of finally coming to an end. I no longer have to live in fear of running into him again and that is a HUGE relief.

        • sparky says:

          You too. Keep up the strong work. You were the only one with balls to stand up to him as we cowered behind your website (myself included). The most fitting epitaph is at http://www.machoneaviation.com, check it out for a good laugh.

          • admin says:

            I saw that. About 20 of the sites went down for the same reason. Yet another person/company who didn’t get paid.

      • EEE says:

        Dave was not my favorite person but it’s tasteless to continue kicking a man even after he’s dead and cremated. Sure, I could change the channel- or I could stop by now and then to remind myself how not to act after someone dies. He was a crook and a liar in life, this is established, yet I feel a slight pang of sadness that 2 people have lost their lives. I would much rather Dave had lived to face the music and for the young girl who died to have lived to love and be loved, to realize her dreams. If you must cling to someone’s memory, make it hers.

        It’s surprising to me how all you with whom I agreed while Dave was alive now seem so crass. Stand there and gloat, wave a dead man’s dirty, bloodied remains like graceless champions with his decaying flesh between your teeth. You didn’t kill him and you didn’t bring him down. The stated purpose of this site has been a failure and it has no further purpose.

        • Avidwiz@aol.com says:

          EEE you are entitled your opinion no matter how incredible wrong it is. No one asked you to come here and read this blog, if you don’t like it don’t read it. You are not preaching to the choir here. And another thing you are very wrong about, this blog has been viewed nearly 200,000 times. A good portion of those viewers had been warned and many were saved by this blog. This site was a major player in stopping Riggs, it did what our government didn’t do. When no one else public;y stood up to Riggs, when all the inept government agencies were asleep at the wheel, when Riggs filed lawsuits, smear campaigns and threats against this blogger, without any financial support she exposed the world to Riggs and his felonious activities. She saved many from being victims of Riggs. I, for one, admire this blogger and I am sure that anyone that ever met Riggs or was saved by this site feels the same.

        • admin says:

          You’re wrong on a lot of level. First of all 2 people aren’t dead. 6 are. And none of them should be. I’m not kicking Dave while he’s down…I’m seriously pissed off at the authorities and the aviation community who KNEW what a crook he was and did nothing to stop him. They did nothing to help prevent that 18 year old girl from dying.

          In addition, I guarantee, nobody is gloating. But nobody who was victimized by him is sad either, except sad about the wasted life of that girl.

          Did the site succeed? Nah, this site didn’t cause him to crash, but it DID succeed in that a lot of people didn’t fly with him, a lot of people didn’t get involved in business dealings with him and more than a couple saw a scam brewing and got out in time. So yes. It did.

          Now maybe it will succeed in bringing to light the failure of the authorities. The ones who only want to prosecute if it will get them a headline. The ones who only want to do something if they don’t actually have to do anything. The community that should be policing itself but chooses not to because it might actually mean taking a stand and stepping outside their own personal box of comfort. Whether that succeeds is yet to be seen.

          • Amy says:

            If I might make a suggestion for this web site. I would suggest that you reformat it so all these message boards about Mr. Riggs are archived and redesign the site so the community can track other aviation criminals. For this site to have any real impact, it has to be more than just about David Riggs. Seriously, this chapter is closed. Time to move on to the next guy that needs to be grounded. So who is he?

          • admin says:

            This site was set up specifically to make the actions of Dave Riggs known. To be honest, with the inaction and very lackadaisical attitude of the authorities the only good it did was to warn at least some people before they got ripped off too. I have had to defend myself in both a local (Nevada) lawsuit and am still dealing with a Federal lawsuit. My goal is not to out every aviation criminal there is. Although I wish I could as I really would like to make a difference, the pay just isn’t that good.

  21. ricky says:

    Who were the other american pilots that were there with him supporting his illegal, life threatening activities?

  22. Good riddance says:

    Good riddance to that s#it stain.
    NO sympathy whatsoever for that lowlife.
    Good riddance mr riggs.

  23. Bret Sutton says:

    Personally, if you don’t have the integrity and guts to put your first and last name in this forum, your thoughts and feedbacks should be thrown out before it hits the web. I have sent in two different comments that mysteriously have not made it to the forum. Why? Because the individual running the site only allows what they want others to read. Put your name on it, or don’t bother writing. You shouldn’t believe anything coming from people without the balls to put their name attached to comment. My .02

    • admin says:

      I didn’t post those two comments because you were attacking someone else and accusing them of crimes. Not going there. This site isn’t about that person and he’s spoken to authorities..so no need for your .02 on it. And you are right, I let through the comments I choose to, because it’s my site so I can. Got a problem, build your own site. With that said, EVERY comment is saved even if it’s not published.

  24. Deb says:

    Wow! I haven’t been back on this site since I posted my comment and I am in shock at all the things people have said about my cousin. First I would say that David was adopted. We are NOT biologically related but growing up that didn’t matter. He was still family. Secondly, my immediate family always heard rumors of what David was mixed up in but in the few chance meetings, since we all became adults, he seemed very anxious, in a hurry and quite frankly I just figured that he felt life in Missouri moved tooooooo slow for him so we were all beneath him. He wasn’t mean to me….he just seemed like my existence didn’t mean anything to him. It didn’t bother me but it did hurt my parents. Lastly I will say that I truly have no idea where David went when he died. I would like to hope that he is now in heaven with his amazing, loving, giving mother….my precious aunt and also with my sweet mama, but I don’t know. Since God is the reader of hearts I’ll leave the judging job up to Him. I know his sweet parents loved him and gave him every advantage but for whatever reason David chose the life of scheming and causing others pain. Who knows why???? In a few short hours we will join together to say our goodbyes to him. I will admit I was not close to David so I am attending to offer support, comfort and show love to his precious father and sister that are left behind. I am so sorry that my cousin hurt you all and that there will be ripple effects for years to come. I wish things could have and would have been different for him and all of you all so none of this would have never happened. I do hope that the hatred subsides one say. He’s gone.

  25. Kimmel says:

    Are you sure he´s dead? Crashed in a lake, missing, then found and cremated? This is the stuff for conspiracy theories..