This just in

One of the readers here took me up on the request to email Camarillo. They sent me a copy of the email response they received today at 9:40am:

From: Jon Whited
Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: Dave Riggs and Camarillo Air Show

Mr. Riggs is an experienced and responsible pilot in good standing
> with the FAA and that he will contribute to the success of the Wings over
> Camarillo Air Show for the benefit of the community.
>
> If you have further questions please contact:>
> Samuel M. Huestis
> LAW OFFICES OF SAMUEL M. HUESTIS
> 5500 Telegraph Road, Suite 261
> Ventura, California 93003
> (805) 642-3559
> (805) 642-3529 Fax
> email@huestislaw.com

Obviously Camarillo does not care that they have a criminal and a group of (admittedly) inexperienced pilots in their show. It seems the only important thing here is making money and safety takes a back seat. Nor is there any concern for having honest, upstanding citizens as part of their show. It’s also quite telling when an initial response to a question results in “contact our lawyer”.

Very sad day for airshows in this bloggers opinion.

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Oh Dave Really?

So for those of you that haven’t seen it yet there is quite a nice write up at Aero-News Network about the UARC and the scheduled race at Camarillo.  First of all I’m thrilled for the link and hopefully it will bring the information on this site to the right people and SOMEONE will finally  realize how serious the potential liability for this show is.

Next  I have to say that I am absolutely floored at the utter audacity of Riggs.  Not surprised but really..

Riggs cautiously admits to some problems in his past but insists that he has become the “FAA’s Poster Child for Compliance” since then and that he now enjoys an excellent relationship with the FAA and promises to behave in a manner that promotes aviation in a positive way. 

If Riggs is the Poster Child for FAA Compliance we are in a whole lot of trouble in General Aviation.  And he promises to behave?  Really?  Dave you haven’t behaved since you first got thrown out of school for peeing in someone’s tuba in High School 30+ years ago.  You are currently tied up in multiple lawsuits.  You are still on appeal for the conviction in Santa Monica and you have yet to do the court ordered community service.  You could very well end up being in jail during the show in August.  I really believe the only poster he’ll ever be on is at the Post Office.  Much like when he was in cuffs coming back from Hong Kong after stealing $4 million.

You claim the pilots were put through strenuous tests to qualify to fly.  Really?  When exactly did that happen?  Would that have been last weekend at the one practice that you’ve had?  That one that lasted for all of a morning because the winds were so bad the pylons were being blown over?  The only ones involved in that “race” in China that are currently with you were…you and Chris.  And again, I stress it wasn’t a RACE…it was an air show, it was pre-planned and coordinated and you didn’t “win” anything although you are having a good time saying you did.  You have a man listed as being involved with this scheme who has now gone on the record stating that he ISN”T involved and that he’s already told you TWICE that he won’t be.  Will you take it off NOW?  Or will you continue to mis-represent who is truly involved with you?

People are not criminals, con artists, liars and thieves for their entire adult life and then suddenly over night become law abiding citizens.  It doesn’t happen.  Ever.

It does however look like you have fallen into like company.  I had no information on Chris except some quiet rumors but according to this article he is lawsuit happy as well.  He sure has the “I didn’t do anything wrong, everybody is picking on me” line down pat.  Just like Riggs.  He’s quick to file a $2 MILLION lawsuit against a woman for simply stating what she saw happen. 

Birds of a feather and all that.

I ask again, is this TRULY the group of pilots that need to be representing the General Aviation pilots of the US?

It seems that Camarillo airport does not care.  I’ve received no responses to my emails and I haven’t heard from anyone who has.  Maybe the wonderful folks at Aero News can help to turn up the heat and get answers to the questions we’ve been asking.

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False advertisement and the world of Dave Riggs

Dave Riggs must live in a very small world.  In wondering about the seven “world champion pilots” a little research was in order.

Dave Riggs – Santa Monica, CA

Torrey Ward – Northridge, CA

Craig Shultze – Burbank, CA

David LaFaille – Simi Valley, CA

So..is that around the world?  Or around the block?

The other 2 are from Tennessee and South Carolina.

Interesting…pacific flyer states SEVEN.  The UARC FAQ states 7-8.  I wonder who the other is?  Wonder woman in her invisible plane perhaps?

Gary Thomason the “Race Squadron Commander” lives in Shanghai China.  Will Camarillo be footing the bill to bring him over here for the show like the promoter in China did?

But really…isn’t it false advertising to promote this “team” who has yet to actually fly together as some of the best precision stunt and demonstration pilots in the WORLD when their histories cannot be easily verified (with the exception of Chris Rounds?)  Torrey is mainly known for RC flying.  I don’t think you can log those hours.  Absolutely nothing comes up for Danny Bonds, David LaFaille or Craig Shultze.

The more this gets picked apart the more nervous this blogger gets about the actual safety of the people who will be attending the show.

Just something else that makes you go hmmm.

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Camarillo revisited

It appears there has been an update on the pacific flyer website in regards to the Camarillo Airshow. Now, instead of just advertising Dave Riggs it is announcing that the UARC will be there.

You can see the post here.

For the first time in America, the 2011 Wings over Camarillo Air Show will feature a simulation of the ultimate Air Racing Championship as a part of this year’s Air Show.

Seven pilots from around the world will race wingtip to wingtip around a pylon slalom course.

They are some of the best precision stunt and demonstration pilots in the world and like Dave Riggs, who lead the American Team to victory in the 2010 China UARC races, include multiple aviation world record holders.

Yesterday there was a comment up from Kevin Sullivan (I assume the FAA agent that investigated the Santa Monica incident) asking if they had plumb lost their minds by putting Dave in the show. It’s been deleted today.

Camarillo knows the stunts that Riggs has pulled and apparently does not care. I don’t know if they are aware of the insurance fraud and other crimes that he has perpetrated. What is apparent is that Camarillo Airport does not care that they have an unsafe pilot flying in the airshow in potentially unsafe planes with pilots they are touting as the “worlds best precision stunt and demonstration pilots”.

I don’t know these guys personally but I do know that a web search doesn’t bring up anything that supports the claims made on the UARC site for Craig Shultze, Torrey Ward, David LaFaille or Danny Bond.  I can’t begin to imagine that these pilots don’t know Dave’s history (at least in part) and their willingness to be involved either speaks to their acceptance of his behavior or their greed for the money that they think is there to be made (which anyone knows is not going to happen given Riggs’ history). In either case they are no better and deserve whatever they get.

I say again that if members of the General Aviation community sit back and do nothing then they are allowing this to be the example shown to the community as what General Aviation and Experimental planes in particular have to offer.  If so, all this blogger can say is shame on you.

With that in mind I give you again the email addresses that you can email to tell Camarillo Airport that as great as these “races” are being touted as being there are real professional pilots out there to be representing the community NOT a convicted felon in the middle of multiple lawsuits and a bankruptcy with a handful of unkown, inexperienced pilots.  That the man who flew these “races” in China has guaranteed that the United States will not be invited back due to his behavior and that he is nothing but a blight on the community.

Please email the following people to ask why Dave Riggs who lost his pilot certificate for a year after buzzing Santa Monica Pier, was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 60 days community service, who is now waiting on an appeal of that case (so it’s not settled yet) is being allowed to participate in the Camarillo Air Show 2011.

LA Times: dan.weikel@latimes.com
Santa Monica District Attorney: attorney@smgov.net (Terry White)
Kansas City Business Journal: bkaberline@bizjournals.com
Camarillo Acorn: Camarillo Acorn: camarillo@theacorn.com
Camarillo Airport Manager: jorge.rubio@ventura.org
Camarillo Airshow Air boss: jonawhited@gmail.com
EAA Main Chapter: sbuss@eaa.org
Camarillo City Manager: citymanager@ci.camarillo.ca.us
Camarillo City Hall: cityhall@ci.camarillo.ca.us Must ATT: To each Councilmember and Mayor
Councilmember Don Waunch
Councilmember Kevin Kildee
Councilmember Charlotte Craven
Mayor Mike Morgan
Vice Mayor Jan McDonald
Ventura County Star: http://www.vcstar.com/ Contact Manager and Editor

There is no shortage of pilots in the Southern California area that can put on an amazing show at Camarillo and demonstrate what it is to be a responsible, safe pilot and to allow this man to fly is, as stated before, irresponsible at best and negligent at worst.

Will it take another death, more fraud, more scandal or the city of Camarillo to be named in yet another Riggs lawsuit before Camarillo realizes it’s too late?

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Some people are doomed to repeat the past.

It was November 2008 when Dave Riggs decided to buzz the busy Santa Monica Pier in his L-39 jet.  We’ve covered that fairly extensively here.  His defense at the time was that there was never any danger because it was an experienced pilot in a well-maintained plane.  We’ve also covered that extensively.  Somehow I’m thinking that Navy Commander Dave Koss might disagree.  If you haven’t seen the news he is the leader of the Blue Angels who stepped down this week after having a bad flight and flying too low over the crowd watching at a show in Virginia on May 22nd.  These are the true “Top Guns” when it comes to air shows and aerobatic maneuvers.  Did this Commander try to say it was okay because he’s experienced?  Did he say it was okay because the planes are well maintained (surely more well maintained than the planes Rigg flies which are questionable at best)?  No.  He stood up as a man, said he’d made mistakes and that because of that he requested to step down from the position.  Kudos to him for not wanting to make another error that would get someone killed.

Not once have I even found where Riggs apologized or acknowledged that what he did was even an error in judgment.  There is not a flicker of wrong doing in this man or understanding of how his actions may affect others.  He just says he knew what he was doing so it should all be fine.

In looking at history it appears that he thinks that anyone should be able to do whatever they want regardless of the rules.

There is an interesting report you can look at here. This is an NTSB report regarding an incident that occurred in Hawaii n November 2005. A man in Hawaii did some low passes over a runway as well as near the coast on top of some surfers and beach goers. There were 2 eyewitnesses who testified the pilot buzzed the beach and another eyewitness (who happened to be a retired FAA air traffic controller) testified he was only 100 feet off the surface of the runway with the landing gears and flaps retracted. There was also a DVD presented of video of the flight that was made.

The FAA Inspector was a man named Michael Spencer.  Here is what the report says he had to say about it:

Inspector Spencer, who holds several large, turbojet  aircraft type ratings and has accumulated over 10,000 flight hours, also offered his opinion that:
…the manner in which this aircraft was operated put individuals in the water, individuals on the surface, individuals in the vicinity of the airport, and the individuals who were on board the aircraft not functioning as required crew members, that these individuals were put at extreme risk … because of the low altitude that the aircraft was operated and the speeds at which the aircraft was operated, that there was an inherent risk of the pilot losing control of the aircraft and striking either the water or the runway surface with catastrophic results.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Wait. It gets better.

The pilot said he never saw anyone on the beach, that he was “somewhere around 1000 feet off the ground” and that he talked to an unidentified person in the tower who did not object to his request to do the low passes.  He stated the low pass over the runway was actually a missed approach that he began at approximately 200 feet (with the landing gear up?).

He also introduced “expert testimony”.  Guess who the expert was?
Respondent also introduced a 3-page declaration of Dave Riggs, who professed expertise with filming aircraft in flight.
I’d like to direct you to the assessment of Riggs’ declaration:  (this is copied directly from the report linked to above)
Make sure to note how much of it they found to not be relevant to the case and how much is “Opinion” that they apparently disregarded completely.

There was a declaration which is declared under penalty of perjury so that adds to the weight that I attach to the Declaration of one Mr. Dave Riggs. I have read the Declaration more than once closely and also looked at the curriculum vitae which was submitted as supplement or attachment to the Declaration.

The first four paragraphs of the Declaration are essentially nonpertinent to the evaluation of this case. Paragraph 5 essentially states what I’ve already reviewed with respect to the passes along the shoreline and over the Dillingham Airport itself and the various statements that Mr. Riggs apparently did review. Paragraph 6 indicates a video was provided for him, the one on November 19th, and indicates that with respect to statements that he makes on there — and this is what I am quoting — “but was told,” so the statements as to what the cinematographer did is what he, Mr. Riggs, was told. Mr. Riggs has no factual knowledge from being present, so I have to take into account that his testimony as to what he is saying with respect to his observation of the DVD is based upon what he was told, not what he knows as a fact. That is something to take into account on the weight.
 
Paragraph 7 and 8 are essentially, in my view, his speculation as to what other persons or observers would have as limitations on what they observed. That is his speculation or opinion, and that’s what I view that testimony. He has no real knowledge other than what he has reviewed of statements as to any of the individuals who testified here have as to abilities to estimate. And again we’re talking about estimates, not people that went out with tape measures or plumb lines.

Paragraph 9 is again an estimation and an opinion on his part. It’s his expert opinion, and I accept that based upon his background. He has a long and extensive background in photography, which I acknowledge and do take into account. However, this, again, is opinion testimony based upon partly of what he was told and what he says he observed from the videotape. He states that the two passes off the shoreline were at an altitude of between 500 and 700 feet above the water and 1500 feet from the shoreline. With respect to the flight over the airport itself, he estimates the height to be around 250 feet AGL or above the surface, and again those are his estimates. Simply observed that the Respondent in his own testimony, in the admissions which I’ll refer to specifically, and on his testimony directly, indicated that he felt that he was 150 feet over Dillingham Airport. So it’s 150-foot or a 100-foot difference from what Mr. Riggs is estimating based upon his view of the video.

Paragraph 10 again is statements made as to what can be done with angles of the camera or compression of the video image. However, there was no testimony as to what camera angles were used, whether or not compression of the video image was in fact utilized, what kind of “f stops” were used, what kind of settings on the camera of any type were made, what lenses were used. There is simply no evidence one way or the other that any of this that he talks about, which are in fact things that can be done, unquestionably. But there’s no evidence to support any of these statements in Paragraph 10 of this Declaration. There’s just no evidence to it. It’s his speculation again that this can be done. And I may agree that it can be done, but that doesn’t mean that in fact it occurred. There’s no evidence to that effect. And that’s my review of Mr. Riggs’ Declaration.

The important part of this story to this particular blogger is that the gentleman in question lost his case.  This should have been the first clue to Riggs that he wasn’t going to get away with the stunt at Santa Monica.  But his ego just couldn’t let him not do it.  And almost 4 years to THE DAY he pulled a similar stunt in Santa Monica and honestly felt it was justified and “okay”.  No wonder he keeps pulling the same stunts and scams over and over.  I guess some dogs really can’t learn new tricks.
 

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Collateral Damage

Whenever there is a war there is collateral damage. The military expects, and accepts it. The cost of doing business. Collateral damage is defined as: “Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damage is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.”

One of the defining factors is intent. If they didn’t INTEND to harm then it’s not unlawful. It’s that instance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But this isn’t war. And collateral damage should always be unlawful. Sadly, like much of what we’ve discussed here the law doesn’t seem to be able or willing to do anything about it.

One of those who has been a victim of Riggs’ actions who has NOTHING to do with him is Jason Price. You may recall him being mentioned briefly in a prior post. Jason is the owner of the California registered company Mach 1 Aviation, Inc. Keep in mind that Dave Riggs has Mach One Aviation (in California) and Mach 1 Aviation (in Nevada). Jason opened and began running a flight school at Van Nuys airport in 2007. Jason had no idea about Riggs, his history and actions or the existance of Mach One in California or Mach 1 in Nevada. He just thought it was great the name was available and began working on advancing his career.

Since that time his company has been served with numerous lawsuits in error over confusion of the name (as we’ve seen Dave uses them very randomly and interchanges the “One” and “1″ pretty much however he chooses). They’ve all been cleared up but not without time, effort and expense on Mr. Price’s part. He’s been contacted by numerous FBOs in regards to jet fuel that was never paid for, again by Riggs. Since Mr. Price only uses Av Fuel there really is no question as to what has happened. At one point Millionair Burbank contacted him trying to recoup $30,000 from Riggs. Another company, Jeppesen, actually had a judgment served against Mach 1 Aviation. This is a company that Mr. Price has several accounts (in good standing) with. But that one little trick to the name screws everything up. He has managed to get things cleared with Jeppesen, but getting the judgment removed from his corporate credit is a whole different issue. If anyone has ever tried to get a bad report off their credit I’m sure they can sympathize with what a nightmare that can be.

I’m sure that when Mr. Price was served with the lawsuit (at home no less) he figured it was just an innocent mistake and wouldn’t be something that would happen again. So he chose to continue building his brand under the name Mach 1 Aviation. Five years later there is nothing slowing down and the lawsuits and creditors just keep on coming.

Because Riggs was using the name prior to Mr. Price incorporating he has no legal recourse. He did contact Riggs and asked him to stop using the name. I imagine it would have helped if Riggs would have just stuck with Mach ONE to avoid confusion but of course, being him, he refused.

He is not just collateral damage.  He is an honest man with a wife and son who has done everything correctly but is forced to pay for the criminal and unethical actions of a man he doesn’t even know.  This is not someone who got involved in a business deal that went bad.  This is someone who through absolutely NO fault of his own got drawn into the drama and poison that David G. Riggs brings with him everywhere he goes.

How much longer will we as members of the aviation and entertainment communities continue to allow this man to go along with no consequences to his actions?  How long will people continue to give him the means and ways to continue on destroying everything in his path?

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Here’s the story…you decide

When Riggs returned from China the other pilots left before him because he was stuck there trying to force the promoter to pay him. The planes were put in their containers and sent on their way back to the United States. It took a month to get them from California to China and would take the same amount of time to get them back. As time went on Riggs sort of played it off that he didn’t know where they were or when they return. What he didn’t know was that the other plane owner was in touch with the shipping company and knew exactly where they were throughout the entire trip.

The day the containers arrived in Long Beach the transport company contacted the other plane owner and told him they were there and would be sent to Van Nuys airport. Riggs had told him they were still at least a week out. Within an hour or two of the planes arriving in Van Nuys he was there. Riggs already had the containers open. The other owner climbed into the container that had his plane and began taking pictures. In very short order airport security showed up and told him he couldn’t be there. Dave Riggs was complaining and told the security that he DID NOT KNOW THE MAN AND HAD NEVER MET HIM. This is after they just spent a month in China flying in the air show together!

Before the day was out the LAPD was at the airport, security had the plane locked up in a hangar that Riggs did not have a key to and he was told to stay out of it until the truck came to pick the plane up the next day and return it to its home airport. During the time it was open Riggs also tried to walk away with a toolbox that had the other pilots name on it (and claimed it was his).

The owner of that plane actually went to the police department to attempt to press charges, but as everyone else who has dealt with this man, he was told it was a “civil” matter. I don’t know how stealing a plane is civil when stealing a car is criminal but that’s what they seem to always say.

When the pilot got the plane back to his own hangar he discovered that a part of the smoke machine which had been installed before the trip was also missing. It was seen later on a workbench in yet another person’s hangar. It still remains there as far as anyone knows.

The interesting twist to all of this was when, a few days later, a friend of Riggs’ showed up at the other pilots hangar and handed him an envelope. Inside were all the ownership and registration papers for the plane. The owner of the plane had NEVER removed those papers and had never given them to Riggs. When Riggs did need copies he was given xeroxed copies, never the originals. So how did Riggs end up with them? It is suspected they were removed from the plane while the pilot had gone (alone) to Beijing during a break in the air show.

Is this another plane that almost got lost? Would it ever have made it home if the owner hadn’t been just a little bit smarter than Riggs? We’ll never know but we’ll let you decide.

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Airshow, Air Race, Festival – what’s in a word?

False and misleading advertising is something that is strongly frowned upon in this country.  You can’t advertise that a Big Mac has the same nutritional value as a salad.  Camel had to retire Joe because the cartoon character was found to be enticing kids to smoke.  And you can’t call a choreographed flight SHOW a RACE.  This has bothered this particular blogger for awhile now. At this site is the original invitation and information for the show in China.

Aiming at “General Aviation’s Development”, this Airshow provides a platform for general aviation companies at home and abroad to show, exchange ideas and co-operate with each other through active and static exhibitions of different aircrafts and general aviation products

That’s exactly what this SHOW was. An opening for the brand new world of General Aviation in China. That site is the site of the promoter by the way. Everything that has anything about “races” is sites that Dave Riggs set up.

Here is a picture from the show:

To be completely correct it wasn’t even an Airshow..it was billed as a FESTIVAL :)

Another thing that bothers me is they keep saying they “won”. They didn’t win anything. However if you look at the gallery on the UARC site it shows Dave, Chris and Gary each holding a “trophy” that makes it look like they did. Here is a picture of all of them in China holding those same trophies:

It has been CONFIRMED that these were not trophies awarded for ANYTHING. As a matter of fact those trophies didn’t come from the Airshow or from China for that matter. Riggs had them made here before he left for China and gave them to Chris, Gary and Randy while they were in China. The Airshow didn’t present them. They weren’t an award for winning a race. They were Dave Riggs planning ahead for his next con and finding a way to make himself seem more important and more accomplished than he actually is.

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Dave Riggs and the UARC

This appears to be Riggs’ latest project.  The Ultimate Air Race Championship.  Let’s take a look at how this is being billed.

The Ultimate Air Racing Championship (UARC) is the Super Bowl of aviation. Seven pilots from around the world battle 10 feet off the ground on the same race course at the same time, at speeds of 500 KPH for the title of Ultimate Air Race Champion! Unlike Formula 1 Auto Racing where the big engine wins the race, in Ultimate Air Race Championship it’s the pilot’s wits, skill and daring that wins.

Okay we’ll break it down.  First of all he’s misleading right out of the gate by listing it at over “500 KPH”.  This is America, we measure in MPH.  500 KPH = 310 MPH.  Now I won’t say he’s lying because the fastest speed I could find in a Lancair was a Lancair IV that did 345 MPH but it should be noted Riggs flies a 360 not a IV.  Secondly he says that in Formula 1 Auto Racing the big engine wins…while I suppose that is true to some degree if you suck at driving you aren’t going to win no matter how big your engine is. 

Now, the video on this page is a (very well done) bunch of footage from his trip to China.  Couple of issues with that.  #1 he is being sued by one of the pilots in the video and did NOT get his permission to use the footage.  That’s okay though it’s good footage so I suppose it can slide.  Not counting the fact that the 3 photographers who shot the footage were there on the promoter’s dime without the promoter’s agreement it is great photography.  But it was all obtained under false pretenses and that DOES count because the promoter in China has not been (and will not be) reimbursed for the first class plane tickets, hotel and food that the video people got from him.

With all that said there is one big thing to keep in mind here.  This was NOT by any stretch of the imagination a race.  All these flights were choreographed ahead of time.  At some point in one of the videos Riggs says some nonsense  about his “strategy” being to stay behind and then overtake the other pilot in a turn maneuver to ultimately win the race.  The truth is that Riggs stayed behind because HIS PLANE COULDN”T KEEP UP.  This was not a “RACE” this was an “AIRSHOW”.  I take no credit away from the pilots for the talent and skills they demonstrated in this SHOW because it does take skill to fly 10 feet off the ground and not get killed.  It was a most enjoyable show according to the Chinese who attended.  It WAS a huge show with millions of people watching both in person and on television but it was NOT a race.  To advertise as such is ridiculous and dishonest.

It should also be noted there were only 3 pilots involved.  Dave Riggs,  Chris Rounds (who is also listed as a pilot with the UARC) and Randy Shatz.  There were no other countries competing against them and any “championship” they won is nothing more than a figment of Dave’s imagination as they state here:

The first edition took place in China during October 2010 and featured fierce competition by international pilots to a crowd of 500,000 people. With a television audience of 865 Million viewers, the 2010 Ultimate Air Race Championship was four times larger than the Super Bowl and the second largest televised aviation event in history, second only to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

He also neglects to mention that of the pilots listed on this website ONLY he and Chris were involved in the China show.

Now I have very little information on anyone else involved in this little project so I won’t comment on them extensively but lets take a look at Riggs bio on the site because it actually lists some things I hadn’t seen before.

Dave Riggs is a 5 time Aviation World Record Holder in 4 types of aircraft, more than any living individual. He holds the distinction of being the only person approved by the FAA to operate former Eastern Bloc Jet Fighter Aircraft in Hollywood Movies under an approved FAA manual/waiver. As a noted Hollywood Stunt Pilot, his amazing flying stunts can be seen on a variety of film and television programs including Hollywood Blockbuster’s IRON MAN, JAMES BOND-CASINO ROYALE and IRON MAN II as well as television specials for DISCOVERY and ESPN. In 2009 he was the first American to work with the Russian Knights Military Jet Fighter Display team and in 2010 became the first American since World War II to be invited to perform flying stunts using civilian aircraft in China. The 2011 Pay Per View special SPEED FREAK produced by Frederico Lapenda, showcases and amazing stunt with Riggs flying a Jet Fighter with Brazilian skydiver Luigi Cani in formation. As Sport Class winner of the Ultimate Air Racing Championship I races held in China during October 2010 Mr. Riggs brings a unique knowledge of aviation and racing to the UARC team. His aggressive style of flying is well known as his personal moniker “Big Balls will Beat a Big Engine any day”, reflects.

So where do we start. We’ve already addressed the fact that setting a record for some weird flight that noone else has ever attempted (such as speed record for flying from Barstow to Phoenix) doesn’t count for much with people who actually pay attention to such things.

I already asserted before that while I found Skips name on a movie, I never found Riggs. I did a little more searching today and what I found on Casino Royale is that a company in the UK named Flying Pictures Ltd has worked on about 11 of the James Bond movies. Wonder when Riggs started working for them?

Because I’m not part of the FAA I can’t verify the whole “only person approved” to operate Eastern Bloc Jet Fighter Aircraft in Hollywood movies but I wish someone would. I’d be curious how someone like Riggs would get that and not someone like say Skip Holmes who is a proven amazing pilot and who I actually see credited in some movies.

He was the first American to work with the Russian Knights Military Jet Fighter Display team. He doesn’t mention he got kicked out of Russia.

First American since World War II invited to China. He doesn’t mention the fiasco that turned into and that from what we’ve seen so far…they aren’t inviting the Americans back this year. He was not the “Sports Class winner” of the UARC in China. He was a pilot that put the trip together, flew in the show, and destroyed the trip by ripping off the promoter, stealing a balloon from someone else and screwing another pilot out of money for damages to his plane (not to mention the guys that had to pay their hotels and food the last few days because the promoter quit paying because of Riggs’ actions).

Are the people who put together the UARC aware of this? It lists Frederico Lapenda as CEO/co-creator. Hope he has an idea what he’s in for. And it should be mentioned that Gary Thomason is the gentleman who was in China with Riggs WITHOUT the promoter’s knowledge and yet he’s listed as the Executive in Charge.  He brought along his wife and 2 kids as well.  I’d say however much Riggs lost out on with that trip was probably not enough to cover the expenses they passed on to the promoter.  How about Corkey Fornof and Ben Coleman?  Corkey was an advisor to the FAA and Ben was an investigator for the NTSB.  Impressive sounding credentials but just how much “investigating” have they done in regards to THIS venture?

Something else that’s interesting is that of all the pilots listed in the UARC the only one with any history of racing or stunt flying that can be verified is Chris Rounds who is a known show pilot out of Tennessee (and was also the third pilot that flew in China). According to the FAA, Craig Shultze, Torrey Ward and Dave Lafaille all only received their commercial ratings in the last few months.  These three pilots have absolutely no recorded history of air racing or stunt flying. Danny Bond apparently sold Riggs the Pitts he took to China and we were able to find a Daniel E. Bond with several bi-planes registered to him in Southport North Carolina. Since the UARC bio for him only says he won multiple aerobatic contests in 2010 but doesn’t list which ones there no way this can be verified.  An internet search of Danny Bond turns up nothing but registered aircraft.  According to the FAA Donald Christopher Rounds also had his pilots certificate either suspended or revoked in 2010 for flying too low and to close to spectators at an airshow. Again, things that make you go hmmm.

While nothing here (so far) is criminal it is just another list in a long line of lies, exaggerations, misdirection and potential danger in anything that Riggs has his hand in.  And if these shows happen, odds say someone else will die.  I wonder who will have the responsibility for that?  The one thing I believe that might be true is that these types of races have never been held before.  They’ve never been held at a public airport.  The closest would be the Reno Air Races and you MUST have a Reno Racing License and go to their school to participate.  So again the same question comes up.  Where is the FAA and are they seriously going to allow this to happen at public events and unleash these guys on unsuspecting spectators?  Who exactly is getting paid off to allow that?

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John Woo…why would you?

I still haven’t figured out if this is real or not.  On this page  (scroll down, lower right side under “Movie News”) there is a blurb that Riggs is working with renowned director John Woo (Broken Arrow, Face Off, Mission Impossible II) to film the aerial scenes for the new “Flying Tigers” war movie.   If it IS true I have to question the legal team that protects Mr. Woos interests.  I hope someone notifies him to the existance of this site so they have all the information that they should have.

I also hope they verify that all planes used are safe, that any insurance papers Riggs submits are real and valid and that they have IRON CLAD contracts that protect Mr. Woo when the inevitable lawsuits start.

While there is a lot of information here, unless people see it Riggs will be able to continue conning people, stealing from people, endangering people and walking away with people’s money.  It is this bloggers hope that people reading don’t just read.  That if they know ANYONE involved with Riggs or any one that can protect someone involved with Riggs they will direct them here.  It could have saved many people hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, not to mention years of stress and anxiety, and possibly even a couple of lives.

It is beyond comprehension how so many get involved.  There was a time when Riggs did not have a history in the movie industry in California and those who were sucked in and paid the price can be forgiven for not knowing.  But for someone as established as John Woo to NOT be notified of what/who he’s getting involved with is despicable and irresponsible.  For Camarillo airport to put this man in a plane at the air show is gross negligence.  General aviation does not need to be represented by this type of person.

The reality is however, that Riggs will continue to get away with his games and crimes as long as no one stands up to him and says enough.  As long as innocent honest people are walking around with no idea of who they are getting involved with we will just have to continue adding stories to this site because there will be no end.

That is where it falls to those who are reading to send the link to anyone and everyone you can think of.   Email the addresses on the “Email” page to the right and demand that they remove him from the Camarillo air show.  If someone knows anyone in the industry find out who Woo works with and notify them.  If, after that, they still choose to get involved then at least they have been warned and given the opportunity to either remove themselves from the equation or suck it up when it all goes wrong.

As stated before if Camarillo keeps him in the show, WHEN something goes wrong at least we can all say I told you so.  But that can’t happen without people getting involved and voicing their concerns.  I’m doing all I can, I hope you will assist me.

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A movie in the making..or maybe not.

As the previous post about the Balloon shows, when things don’t go right for Dave Riggs he will just pull in whoever he can find to try to make it right, so to speak. History shows this happens pretty much with every business deal he gets involved in. If you look at his IMDB.com page you will see that although he has movies listed all over the internet that he’s supposedly involved in, there is only one that has actually reached completion and been released with Riggs still involved. Succubus: Hell-Bent. This movie was done in 2006 with Kim Bass as the writer-director. When that was completed they moved on in 2007 to do Fast Glass. It’s previously been mentioned here that the production of that movie went sideways and ended with the production shutting down and many lawsuits being filed. It is more than fair to say that there are some interesting twists in the story.

The movie Fast Glass was written by Kim Bass who was also the director and one of the producers. But when everything fell apart Riggs decided it was “his” movie or at least his movie footage. This led to a court battle over the ownership rights to the movie and included accusations of stolen footage from a supposed break-in at Dave’s offices (would that be Suite… I mean the PO Box 674 at 12400 Ventura Blvd in Studio City?) etc. etc. Court records show that after nearly a year of hearings in Los Angeles Superior Court the uncompleted film and footage were ordered returned to Kim Bass by the judge who ruled that Riggs had lied and defrauded the court. The film was eventually retooled, refinanced and finished under the title, No More Games (maybe it had something to do with the soundtrack song by Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame), more than two years after the initial filming had shutdown. Kill Speed is the title the film was eventually being released under. Unfortunately by the time that happened the movie was mostly worthless due to the bad press it had received, the lawsuits it was tied up in, the bankruptcy proceedings that Riggs filed that further complicated the ownership and copyright claims, the “leaking” of the entire film online where many who would have paid to see it were able to illegally get it for free (piracy = bad). Hmmm… I wonder who leaked it?

In the midst of all this along comes a Mister Tony Tiscareno. Tony claimed that he had written a script in 1996 and copyrighted it in 1998. This script was titled “Flastglass”. Please note this is one word .. not two. Both stories apparently have something to do with planes but who knows what else. NOTE: This blogger has seen the Kill Speed trailer online and it looks pretty cool. Tony Tiscareno’s project, from 15 years ago, apparently never got off the ground. But that didn’t stop Mr. Tiscareno from filing a copyright suit against Kim Bass and Bass Entertainment claiming that Kim Bass stole his script.

And you guessed it, there is a Dave Riggs connection…

According to the lawsuit, Tony was supposedly talking to some aircraft tug sales guy who mentioned that a movie called Fast Glass had already been made after Tony told him about HIS screenplay. Tony was “horrified”. Tony had shopped his movie script around for some TEN years before shelving it and moving on to a Fastglass novel but suddenly someone else had produced a movie with almost the same title and Dave Riggs was involved. Okay. First of all let’s explain that BOTH scripts have “experimental” or “kit planes” in them. These kit planes are, in general, made of high-tech fiberglass or composite. They have names like Lancair, Glasair, etc. The term “Fast Glass” would be fairly easy to come up with for the title. That’s what these types of planes are commonly called…Fast Glass. They are “Fast” and they are made from fiberGlass. So, no big mystery or real creative achievement there. No offense, Tony and Kim.

Anyway, according to his lawsuit, Tony supposedly contacts Riggs (who, according to a lawsuit filed by the Fast Glass film investors, had already been terminated from the production company for among other reasons, fraud and embezzlement) at Afterburner Films and tells him that the movie is stolen. Suddenly there’s yet ANOTHER lawsuit with Riggs’ finger prints all over it.

And how did that whole case pan out? Read the Federal Court’s posting for yourself below:

Case Name: Tony Tiscareno v. Kim Bass et al
Case Number: 2:10-cv-00440-SJO -AGR
Filer:
WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/16/2011

Document Number: 148

Docket Text:
MINUTES OF Pretrial Conference held before Judge S. James Otero: Hearing held. Court
is advised that the Plaintiff does not wish to proceed to trial and that he will
file a motion to dismiss. The Court Grants Plaintiffs oral motion to dismiss
remaining Defendants Kim Bass and Bass Entertainment. The Court Orders the trial
date vacated. (Made JS-6. Case Terminated.)Court Recorder: CS: 5/16/11.(lc)

Yep, one week before trial Tony dropped the case. Why? Doesn’t say but my guess is that he knew he couldn’t win because the accusations weren’t true and since everything is coming down to the wire for Riggs and his bankruptcy there just wasn’t any point in continuing.

This was nothing more than another case of Riggs pulling someone else into nonsense because his plans didn’t pan out and people didn’t let him just take advantage and rip them off. By the way, Kim Bass is an award-winning writer who has a very impressive IMDB.com page and Tony Tiscareno has no IMDB.com page at all.

Go figure.

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Updates *almost* daily

**Please be sure to scroll down or use the archive to find the most recent posts as these are posting in chronological order. You can also click on the highlighted dates on the calendar to the right to find the most recent entries***

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Would you like some hot air with that?

In September 2010 Riggs went to China to fly in an air show.

The deal was pretty simple really. He brings 3 pilots and 2 mechanics and they fly airshows in Chongqing and Xian. Problem is that as usual Dave couldn’t do things the way they were supposed to be done. He brought 3 pilots and 2 of them were mechanics (Riggs of course not being one of them). THEN he brought some other people to take pictures and film the shows. On the promoters dime. Oh and he had some other guy tagging along as well. Again, on the promoters dime. When the promoter found out he was understandably pissed off and apparently refused to pay Riggs whatever money was still owed. Can’t say I blame him as he’d paid airfare, hotel and food for all these extra people and didn’t really get what he wanted. The mechanics were supposed to be there to take care of the planes so the pilots could rest and do promo stuff. Of course Riggs being the only non-mechanic was the only one who got to do that as the other two spent all their time building and tearing down the planes.

This meant that Riggs had to figure out how to recoup his losses.

So enter poor Frank Prell of Oxford Promotions. Frank had a balloon in China that somehow ended up in the container with the planes being shipped back from China. Well..they got back in October. It’s now May. Guess who still has the balloon? Yeah. The balloon is in his hangar at Van Nuys no doubt but he’s only charging $75 a day storage because they were able to “get a good deal on storage fees” (His words not mine). Riggs sent Frank an invoice that included charges for freight, customs and storage. Frank refused to pay the freight because that wasn’t his responsibility.

Now, there was a wheel on the cart which had been broken making it difficult to move the basket. DAVE RIGGS told Frank if he sent him $600 they could repair the wheel and get the basket and balloon shipped. So Frank did. And Riggs kept the $600 and then told Frank he owes him some ridiculous amount in the neighborhood of $10,000 for the shipping and storage. Keep in mind that Riggs has his planes, the other pilot has his plane and the balloon was in the SAME container as one of the planes. If there were shipping fees due don’t you think the whole container would have been impossible to get ahold of?

Now Riggs claims that because the promoter supposedly didn’t pay some shipping charges and didn’t take care of some damages that the planes incurred (although an insurance investigator from the promoter showed up to take pictures in CALIFORNIA) he is holding the balloon..that had NOTHING to do with any of this hostage. His next trick was to tell the promoter and Frank that if they didn’t pay all these fees (to Dave, not to the shipper) he would sell the balloon to get back the money for storage (in his own hangar) and the shipping that he never paid to begin with AND the damages to his plane (although he has yet to pay the OTHER plane’s owner for it’s damages.

So basically he got his friend a free ride in China, didn’t respect the contract with the promoter by bringing the people he was actually supposed to bring and is now holding a balloon hostage.

It should also be noted that because of the way that the balloons need to be cared for…the actual balloon is probably worthless and ruined now and only the basket would be any good. It’s a one of a kind balloon and Dave has now cost the owner the loss of it because of his bullshit activities. Frank Prell doesn’t even know Dave. His attorneys have been dealing with Dave’s attorneys since January.
And what did he tell the promoter?

Those of us who are older than you can tell you this may look like a good plan now but in the long run it will not be good for your business.

I suppose you will need to discover this for yourself.

Dave

Mr. Riggs. Perhaps you should take your own advice.

FREE THE BALLOON!

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Space travelers

Here is one of the sights that advertises flights with Dave Riggs (and Skip Holm) in the L-39.

Space Travellers. The English is atrocious so I assume they are not based in the United States. If you are on the main page and you click on the link for the L-39 it takes you to a page with pictures and bios of both Dave and Skip. It also discusses the wonderful “Top Gun” experience you will have. On this page is an embedded YouTube video. That video is here:

Please see that this video was uploaded in 2006 and again tells you that you will be in the capable hands of Dave Riggs.

2006.

Many years before he received his commercial certificate.

Again I ask. Where is the FAA? Where is the NTSB? Where is whoever oversees this sort of activity. Not only was he flying without the proper certificate he probably didn’t claim the money he made (hello? IRS?) and he was doing it in a plane that was shown to NOT be properly maintained.

Yes I’m repeating myself in posts because someone needs to be held to answer for this. I want to know who to file a formal complaint with. I KNOW for a fact the FAA, the NTSB, and the DOJ (for starters) have seen this site. They are aware that someone is documenting this and asking questions. Who do we need to contact to get the answers? Or does Dave need to kill someone first (the Wild Child incident not withstanding). Anyone have news contacts? Email me at groundriggsATaviationcriminal.com.

You can also travel over to Incredible Adventures and see an entire page of videos that have been uploaded of flights with the “Hollywood Top Gun”. I guarantee they were all done BEFORE he got his commercial certificate and don’t insult my intelligence by saying these people didn’t pay for those flights. The FAA and others might be that stupid…I’m not.

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Where are the authorities

In the research done this is what I have found. Dave Riggs violated several FAA regulations during his stunt in Santa Monica. They include the following:

a. Section 91.117(a) [flying at an indicated airspeed of more than 250 knots below 10,000 feet];
b. Section 91.117(c) [flying at an indicated airspeed in excess of 200 knots while operating below Class B airspace];
c. Section 91.119(a) [operating at an altitude where an emergency landing cannot be effected without undue hazard
to persons or property];
d. Section 91.119(b) [operating over a congested area below 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet];
e. Section 91.119(c) [operating at an altitude of below 500 feet over an other than congested
area];
f. Section 91.303(c) [performing aerobatics in Class B, Class C, Class D or Class E Airspace];
g. Section 93.303(d) [conducting aerobatics within 4 nautical 3 miles of the centerline of a
Federal airway];
h. Section 91.303(e) [conducting aerobatics at an altitude of below 1,500 feet above the
surface]; and i. Section 91.13(a) [operating an aircraft so as to endanger the life or property of another].

According to the rules the FAA did all they could in revoking Riggs’ license first under an emergency suspension and then pulling it for a year. Now why they can only revoke it for a year I don’t know but that’s the longest revocation I’ve been able to find so far. This is, in itself unsettling. While less people die in plane crashes than in car crashes the chances of someone dying in a plane are exponentially higher than in a car and the chance of taking out innocent people is at least equal to doing so in a car it would seem.

The Santa Monica prosecutor deserves kudos for finding SOMETHING to charge Riggs with to see the man held accountable for his actions (although that is all still up in the air pending an appeal hearing).

The next question becomes, why in a world post 9-11 did the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT not step in and do something? This wasn’t some guy out in a Cirrus getting carried away by the moment. This is a self-proclaimed experienced pilot in a military jet (retired, trainer, all of that was totally irrelevant since the people on the pier had no way of knowing and shouldn’t be expected to know) doing not only risky maneuvers but violating no less than 8 (and I personally was told the FAA identified FOURTEEN) FAA regulations. He endangered people, he played loose and fast with the rules and he scared a lot of innocent people. As an “experience pilot” isn’t it safe to assume that he would be held to a high standard and NOT be given much leeway for the simple fact that his experience should have told him to NOT fly like a jackass over a populated pier without prior notice and approval?

I don’t know who it is that’s in charge of these things (learning as I go please bear with me) but what I’ve found is that it isn’t the FAA and it isn’t the NTSB so my question is who IS? Who made the decision that there were no criminal charges necessary in this case?

And when it came to be known that Riggs was selling flights without a commercial pilots license (there are records of over $500,000 in income to Mach One Aviation that he never claimed and there are videos abundant of people who have taken the flights on YouTube AND he appears prominently on several sites that advertise these flights) who decided that it was not worth prosecuting him? Or taking his pilot certificate or doing ANYTHING to him for BLATANLY ignoring the rules and regulations. Does this mean that all General Aviation pilots in the country can just start doing whatever they want whenever they want and FAA Rules and Regulations be damned? I’m guessing no..so my question is who protected Dave Riggs? Who is continuously covering up the criminal activities that he has perpetuated in his planes?

Who decided that signing off on his paperwork WITHOUT inspecting the planes when they were red tagged was the right thing to do?

Most importantly who has the balls to find out?

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Will the real Dave Riggs please stand up.

During the Mokan Productions/South Africa days there was an FBI Agent named John H. Meunier Jr. who did the bulk of the investigations. Yes the FBI was on Riggs all those years ago. While these events were many years ago they are important to the story. When you take it bit by bit or look at just a few years span you don’t get the true picture of what a life of crime is. But when you look at the totality you begin to get an idea. There is an affidavit that Agent Meunier did that is a very interesting read.

**PLEASE NOTE*** this document is public record and is available if you are willing to make the trip to the National Archives in Kansas and find them**** Nothing being posted here is confidential information or anything that any American Citizen couldn’t go get for themselves.

This affidavit was written and signed on March 16, 1989. In it he details all the activities that Riggs was involved in at that time. This includes driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, bank accounts,etc.
This agent was also the sole witness who testified when the grand jury indicted Riggs on the 28 counts of fraud and the fake passport charge. A few things catch the attention when reading through this.

For starters, this case ALONE cost innocent people 4.3 MILLION dollars. That is just the money tied up in the Mokan Productions case. ONE scam and he walked away with millions. This isn’t penny ante crime.

Agent Meunier states

To date, my investigation has show a pattern of massive fraud by Dave Riggs.

Some silly stuff. When Meunier describes Riggs physically he mentions a “noticeable scar on his forehead”. Why is this silly? Because this is the description given to the agent of Riggs by friends, employees, business partners (victims) who knew him BEFORE he went to prison in Hong Kong. And yet it was stated later that he claimed the scar on his forehead and some on his back were caused by the abuse he was subjected to in the prison in Hong Kong. This is minor and doesn’t mean much but it just shows again how Riggs will bend reality to suit his needs at any given time.

There are no less than 3 bank accounts listed in this report where all the money was deposited. Riggs was the sole signature on the accounts. Millions of dollars passed through them.

The agent thought that a man by the name of Michael Joseph East from New Zealand was actually Riggs. He was able to prove this by physical description and sending fingerprints to Hong Kong which came back with a match.

The investigation included interviews with both the victims of fraud who were tricked into giving Riggs money using what turned out to be non-existant equipment as collateral as well as the people he used (unwittingly) to commit this fraud. That’s two groups of victims there.

The agent established that “National Studio Supply” the company that Riggs used to gain this credit never legally existed. It consisted of a po box, answering service and bank accounts. So pretty much the same thing that is going on NOW with Mach One Aviation, Mach I Aviation, Afterburner Jets, and any other company Riggs claims to own. Property tax records showed nothing owned by the company. It’s a good guess the same would be true of Riggs’ companies today. The only real difference is that he has registered them as companies with the state this time around.

In June of 1987 he started moving the money to the Cayman Island accounts. At this same time associates told the FBI that he told them he was going to have to run because he was about to get caught.
This includes trying to take his then girlfriend with him because “I’m running for my life.” He also threatened the pilot who worked for him at that time that he and his family would suffer physical harm if he ever “turned” on Riggs.

Along with this document we also have the motion to suppress bond paperwork that gives us more details as well.

It is noted at this time that Riggs had THREE prior theft-fraud convictions. One of the arguments is very important to our cause here.

While the earlier convictions were for conduct involving much less money than that charged herein, they represent a pattern of escalating criminal enterprise.”

We mentioned fleetingly the insurance scam that Riggs got in trouble for but after review of these documents we see it was much more than we realized. Riggs was an insurance adjustor and set up yet another bogus company. SMT Enterprises was said to be a company that would supply property to people who wanted that instead of cash in insurance claims. In reality it wasn’t doing anything but cashing the checks the insurance company gave it and going into Riggs’ account. For this he was indicted for seven counts of a Class C felony. He pleaded guilty and was given 5 years probation.

Although his probation was over when he was indicted for the Mokan situation (and fled to South America) the crimes were planned and begun PRIOR to his probation ending.

On May 13, 1987 Riggs was getting ready to flee the states to avoid prosecution. He got a passport in the name of David John Harl. In truth, Mr. Harl had died on April 30, 1987. Not only is it disturbing that Riggs found it okay to impersonate a dead man it’s downright disgusting that he did it FOURTEEN DAYS after the man passed. He also had one in the name of Christopher Alan Price which New Zealand authorities eventually found as well as Michael Joseph East and John Nicholas Alleston these were issued in Australia and Great Britain.

All of this goes to prove that even before 30 Riggs had no problem committing any crime necessary to get the money he wanted. Who knows how many things he actually got away with as we are only documenting the ones we know of because he either got caught or someone has spoken out (even if they lost in court since that was CIVIL and not CRIMINAL). People like this do not change.

Here is a copy of the fake passport what was done in the name of a dead man.

Click here

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Bankruptcy

It’s being reported that during the bankruptcy hearing this week when Riggs was questioned on owership of various businesses and personal assets his response was that Jerry Brockhaus owns it all. He’s the one that owns Nazarene Aviation Fellowship which appears to now be the owner of the L-39. He’s the one that was involved in Mokan Productions. He’s the one whose name appears on the insurance policy posted earlier that was issued by a company that was dissolved by two states a month before the policy was given to the pilot in question. A search on the internet doesn’t turn up much on Brockhaus except a locked twitter account, a facebook account and about 2000 insurance agent listings. It wouldn’t be appropriate to go so far as to say he’s a criminal but one must ask exactly how much of all this is he aware of?

Does he know that Riggs gave someone that policy paper? Or is Riggs just filling out a blank form he somehow got a hold of? If he knows then he’s as guilty as Riggs. If he doesn’t he must be one of the most naive people on the planet since after all these years there is no possibility that he doesn’t know the scams that Riggs pulls. It always makes one wonder what his response will be should the states of Missouri and Kansas be notified of the bad policy. Would he suddenly not want to own all of Riggs’ crap? And how long until Riggs somehow screws up and leaves him holding the bag?

By registering all of Riggs’ assets does he know that he’s participating in what amounts to fraud? Yes, hiding assets when filing bankruptcy is a no-no and if they think you’ve done it then they will deny your filing. And that means you have to pay. Which means all the pending lawsuits will resume and I would guess the people who have filed them will then have a whole new group of legal avenues for collecting. And since it appears that Brockhaus even owns the Hummer that Riggs drove to court….well.

We have documented pretty clearly here that a lot of Riggs’ assets suddenly got re-registered and moved shortly before or after he filed. This leads to the question of will the bankruptcy court make themselves out to be the same big fat dummies that the FAA and other courts have when it comes to Riggs? I’d be embarrassed to be any of them and know that I had been made a fool of to the degree that these groups have. The FAA especially has lost a huge amount of credibility and I hope to look into that more deeply soon.

It would seem that a decision would be made regarding the bankruptcy soon. This could go a couple ways if it’s dismissed. The lawsuits continue and judgements get made. Riggs either gets a real job and starts paying people or he self implodes and while everyone would be out the cash at least it would be entertaining. (yes that sounds vindictive and “unreporter like” but after months of reading about this guy and finding out all the things he’s gotten away with I can’t help but momentarily lose my composure). Regardless it would be incredibly difficult for him to get away with any of this again. The bankruptcy and (hopefully) following judgements would be public record and hard to hide (assuming no one signs any more confidentiality agreements PLEASE STOP THAT PEOPLE!)

Here’s a friday night toast to a quick and swift decision by the bankruptcy court. It would also be one of the first intelligent ones in Riggs’ history.

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Dave Riggs – Movie Producer and Adventurer

If you look at any of the sites that Dave Riggs is on you will read about how he is a “successful movie producer”, that he’s somehow been involved in the flight scenes (or in some way involved) in over 100 top movies. Let’s take a closer look.

If you go to Afterburner Jets and click on the film and tv network tab you will see movies such as Jarhead, Iron Man and Hot Shots come up.

I went to IMDB and looked up Jarhead. Skip Holm is listed as a pilot. Riggs doesn’t come up anywhere. I looked up Iron Man. Neither one showed up. I tried Hot Shots. Skip came up as pilot and aerial coordinator. No Riggs. At that point I gave up.

So I went and checked Dave’s IMDB page. It’s here.

He has two listings. A documentary from 1998. And Succubus: Hell-Bent. This is the “Hollywood Top Gun” who bills himself everywhere like he is involved in every big name movie that has a plane in it.

During his “marketing” time in movies it’s the understanding here that what he actually did was edit the trailers that are sent out when a movie is being released on DVD. We take nothing away from anyone who does that as it’s an honest living, probably pays well and might even be fun, but it’s a long leap to the kind of “marketing campaigns” that Riggs alludes to in interviews and on his sites.

Perhaps Skip flew Riggs’ plane in those movies. Fair enough. Then he runs a rental company. Again, no harm in that. But a far cry from making you “Top Gun”. Skip would get that title in that case.

It is now said that Riggs is stating he will be involved in the new John Woo movie “Flying Tiger Heroes” which is currently in development. Is this true? I don’t know but I’d like to find out. If Mr. Woo’s team has not investigated the person that is claiming to be involved in the flight scenes for this movie..they should. They might think about contacting the man who put together the Air Show Riggs did in China as well (as that is where the movie is supposed to be filmed). I’m confident they would find the Chinese version of that visit to be radically different than the Dave Riggs version.

I have to ask again, doesn’t ANYONE pay any attention to who they are working with? I understand that many of the people currently involved in lawsuits were caught unaware as there was little information and Riggs had kept a reasonably low profile. He also hadn’t caused any chaos in Los Angeles yet. But it’s many years later, there have been headline making incidents and yet people are still putting this man in the air. Are the people in Hollywood who have so much success and money truly this naive?

As noted in the comment below much of the footage being used on the site is being illegally used as it is from the movie “Kill Speed” which Riggs has no legal right to.

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Brother have you seen my plane?

Some comments have been left in regards to the planes that Dave has had over the years and the fact that they may not have exactly been bought and paid for. This site cannot state one way or the other on that because Riggs has never been charged with actually stealing a plane. With that said it is true that some questionable things have occurred. There are a total of seven planes that carry some big question marks behind them. I’m only going to vaguely address a couple of them here. The biggest reason for this is that there isn’t any documentation in my hand (at this time) to support the paper trail on the planes. The other reason is quite simply that it would be an invasion of privacy upon the people who were caught up in these schemes. Those who owned, and lost the planes. I have not been given permission to discuss the situation openly by those people and I would never want to disrespect them by doing so without their blessings.

One is the L-39 that he flies now. That plane belonged to Terry Fregley. You’ll remember he’s the pilot that died in the Wild Child. The tail number on that plane is N139CK. Mr. Fregley died on February 26, 2006. Information at Airport Data shows it was registered to Mach One Aviation on April 19, 2007. Just a little over a year later. The details of how Riggs ended up with this plane are questionable at best, stomach churning at worst. The plane was then registered to Nazarene Aviation Fellowship on June 17, 2010. Unless Riggs claimed the income from the sale of this plane he managed to avoid any of it being included in his bankruptcy. It is known that he got the plane from the widow of Mr. Fregley.

Another that is questionable is the Lancair IV-P with tail number N484E. This plane was originally owned by a guy named Tony Durizzi. Sadly, Tony died in the crash of another Lancair when there was a fuel problem. The story gets pretty convoluted but the short version is that the owner of the plane Tony died in bought his personal plane (N484E). Riggs handled the sale. He had a contract with the owner for the use of the plane with the understanding that he paid the gas and maintenance on it. This went fine for awhile until he started getting creative as he’s wont to do. When it was all said and done it ended up that N484E was registered to Mach One Aviation and the guy who actually owned it had no clue. There were two attempts by Riggs to “repossess” this plane. The first time the repo guy who showed up at the airport where the plane was hangared eventually left when he felt the paperwork didn’t seem quite kosher. The second time, people at the airport actually stopped the repo man who showed up and called local authorities. He was not allowed to take the plane. A police report was filed and the theft was investigated. Ultimately the district attorney referred the owner to civil court and the plane is now tied up there. The plane is sitting in a hangar while all the legalities are sorted out. Funny though that shortly after getting the plane in his name Riggs filed bankruptcy and listed the plane as an asset. It almost got sold by the Bankruptcy trustee except that the true owner found out and stopped the sale before it took place.

Another pilot almost had his plane stolen but was a little smarter than Riggs and knew JUST enough about him to keep tabs on what was going on and managed to prevent it from happening. There is also currently a question about a balloon that went on the trip to China. Somehow it ended up getting shipped back in the crates with Riggs’ plane and he is now basically holding it hostage.

So far every plane question that has been looked into has either been referred to civil court or the people just plain lost out.

But as with everything else in this story, the one common factor is Dave Riggs.

There’s a movie in here somewhere.

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But Webmaster..why

Some inquiries have come as to why this site exists. What vendetta does the webmaster have against Dave Riggs. I think, for the sake of honesty and possibly even for the integrity of this site it’s only fair to answer that question.

This is not a personal vendetta. I am not an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife. I am not a business partner who got screwed. I am not one of the innocent people swept up in the chaos that Riggs has left behind. I am not a pilot, actor, writer, director, or attorney. My name does not appear anywhere in the various lawsuits and stories that have been published here. I was not on the Santa Monica Pier the day that Riggs pulled his asinine stunt. However, I am in some ways a member of the General Aviation community. I enjoy going to airshows and have an interest in the planes that fly them. I saw the footage of the pier incident shortly after it happened and I was absolutely sickened when I saw how those people on the ground reacted. There is absolutely no explaining away or justifying subjecting people to that. Since that time I have become very familiar with many of the things that Riggs has done over the years.

My frustration and dismay with the FAA and the courts has done nothing but grow as I’ve watched the outcome of that incident and found out about the many other sneaky, dirty under-handed things that Riggs has done.

When I found out that he was being promoted as one of the pilots at the Camarillo airshow my frustration turned to sickness and outright anger. As a member of the community, as a taxpaying citizen, as someone who would be paying my hard earned money to attend that show I am completely at a loss for words when thinking about the fact that the people at Camarillo airport are going to subject myself and the thousands of others who will attend that show to a potential danger with having Riggs in that show. For one he is a hot dog pilot who is too big for his britches and is going to do something stupid one of these days. If he wants to kill himself that’s just fine with me, but the simple fact that he could kill some innocent bystander with the blessing of the people in charge is beyond comprehension. As I’ve been investigating I’ve also found that there are SERIOUS questions and concerns with the air worthiness of the planes he’s flying as well. Two were red-tagged by the FAA during the investigation about Santa Monica. The mechanic that supposedly did the repairs does not work from any place we know as a reliable company. When the FAA cleared the tags they did NOT inspect the plane. They simply accepted the paperwork Riggs gave them and sent him on his way. With his history that is completely unacceptable.

As I had been reading up on Riggs I began to find all his criminal activities. Unfortunately many of the things he’s done have been labeled civil rather than criminal. I’m not an attorney and have never claimed to understand half of what this country does when it comes to criminals but this fact alone should make every person who ever sees this page question exactly what the hell is going on in this country. If stealing, cheating, fraud and tax evasion don’t equal up to criminal activity I guess I will never know what does.

I can’t force the FAA to do something. I can’t force Camarillo or anyone else to exclude him from their air shows. However I CAN bring the situation to light and respectfully request that they take a look at what they are doing (or not doing as the case may be). I can ask and seek answers. I can document it all so when the day comes that something goes horribly horribly wrong I can then stand loudly and say I TOLD YOU SO. When something happens that leads groups to attack General Aviation in general I can say “NO, General Aviation isn’t the problem, a government group that had the chance, the opportunity and the INFORMATION to act on chose not to and they are the ones at fault!”

And if by some chance once person reads this site and somehow manages to avoid getting ripped off, used, conned, or stolen from then it’s worth it. If one person figures out what this man is capable of before they are left sitting in the ruins after 3 or 4 years in court. If one less person loses a plane or a loved one, then I’ve accomplished something and it’s worth it.

I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I pay my taxes, I work for a living and I love small planes. I don’t think it’s EVER okay for someone to rob someone else by threats or by force. I would be quite satisfied to see Dave go to jail where he belongs but if I can’t make that happen perhaps I can help someone who CAN put the story together.

There are so many stories that haven’t been shared here. And they probably won’t be. There are people out there who are either afraid of Riggs or just so tired of the fight that they don’t want to talk. They don’t want to give him anything to put them in his crosshairs again. I understand and respect that and I won’t print anything here that I can’t prove or that they don’t want made public. Sadly, that is what happens sometimes when you are dealing with pure evil.

That’s my story. That’s my reason for being here. I hope that answers your questions.

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Aviation Criminal

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Field trip

People who have never been to Los Angeles have a mental picture of it that isn’t always accurate. The streets and cities have been immortalized in songs and movies. You see the glamour on the red carpet during awards shows and other events. What a lot of them don’t realize is that Hollywood/Los Angeles and much of the area isn’t always what it’s portrayed as. It is the movie industry after all. The next time you watch an awards show notice something besides the beautiful people walking down the red carpet. Notice that the camera never pans away. You never see the sidewalk or the street. This is because there just might be a homeless guy buried under some newspapers trying to get some sleep against the fence next to the theater the event is taking place at.

But that will never stop people from having the mental vision of riches, beautiful people and money when they hear Sunset and Vine, Santa Monica Boulevard or Ventura. It’s part of American culture.

One address that pops up over and over with Dave Riggs is 12400 Ventura Blvd, Suite 674 Studio City CA. This includes being the address on the insurance policy we discussed earlier that we now know was drawn by a company that had been dissolved by the states of both Kansas and Missouri the month before.

It’s been stated on multiple ocassions that this is the “World Headquarters” of Mach One Aviation. So exactly what does a world headquarters in Los Angeles look like? Glad you asked.

Here’s the outside:

oh well that can’t be right can it? Let’s verify the address.

Yep 12400. That’s it. Maybe there’s something we’re missing. Or maybe Riggs really does have a notary, a FedEx shipping company and just likes to make sure his clients can get a cold drink. Let’s look inside. Surely Mr. Riggs has an office and desks, computers and phones right?

Maybe not…

Okay well. Let’s see if we can finde Suite 674. That’s where the desks, computers, phones and maybe even Mr. Riggs himself will be….

Huh. Well. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has met Mr. Riggs will agree when it’s said.. that’s a VERY tiny office Mr. Riggs. I believe your World Headquarters leave a bit to be desired.
So much for Hollywood glamour. Damn movies always leading us astray.

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Lawsuit anyone?

A quick search on the Los Angeles Superior Court website turns up some pretty wild stuff in regards to David Riggs. The search on the name brings up 84 documents. The following lawsuits are ones that it’s sure are this particular Dave Riggs.

Here’s a defamation lawsuit Riggs filed against Eric Norwitz. Eric is an attorney in California and it’s believed this is in relation to all the drama surrounding the movie Fast Glass.

Case Number: BC429992
DAVID RIGGS ET AL VS ERIC NORWITZ
Filing Date: 01/15/2010
Case Type: Defamation (Slander/Libel) (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
07/22/2011 at 09:00 am in department 39 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Conference-Bankruptcy Status (R/T BC366673(LEAD) BC377905BC419389 & BC425176)
________________________________________
Parties
AFTERBURNER FILMS INC. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
AFTERBURNER PRODUCTIONS INC. – Plaintiff/Petitioner’s DBA
DOES 1 THROUGH 20 – Defendant/Respondent
GLENN MICHAEL J. ESQ. – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
NORWITZ ERIC – Defendant/Respondent
RIGGS DAVID – Plaintiff/Petitioner

Next is a case AGAINST Dave Riggs. This is a big one with it seems like everyone on the planet named and is also surrounding movie activities and is a Contractual Fraud case.

Case Number: BC366673
KATHRYN PEASLEE VS DAVID G RIGGS ET AL
Filing Date: 02/21/2007
Case Type: Contractual Fraud (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
07/22/2011 at 09:00 am in department 39 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Conference-Bankruptcy Status (R/T BC377905 BC419389 BC425176BC429992)
________________________________________
Parties
AFTERBURNER FILMS INC. – Defendant/Respondent
AFTERBURNER FILMS LLC – Defendant/Respondent
BASS ENTERTAINMENT INC. – DOE 41 – Defendant/Respondent
BASS KIM – Defendant
BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
BRENNAN LAWRENCE P. JR. ESQ. – Attorney for Deft/Respnt
DEROY GEORGE ESQ. – Former Attorney for Deft/Resp
DONOVAN JAMES M. LAW OFFICES OF – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
EAST NATHAN – Defendant/Respondent
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD – Lien Claimant
GERSH JEFFREY F. ESQ. – Former Attorney for Deft/Resp
HH MEDIA GROUP A CALIFORNIA LIMITED – Defendant
HH MEDIA GROUP INC. – Defendant/Respondent
HH MEDIA GROUP LLC – Defendant/Respondent
HOLLYWOOD MOBILE TV INC. – Defendant/Respondent
HOLLYWOOD MOBILE TV LLC – Defendant/Respondent
JEFFREY F. GERSH – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
KOORENNY & TEITELBAUM LLP – Associated Counsel
MACH 1 AVIATION INC. – Defendant/Respondent
MADHATTERS PICTURE COMPANY INC. – Cross-Defendant
NORTHWING AVIATION LLC – Defendant/Respondent
NORWITZ ERIC ESQ. – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
PANOPOLY PICTURES INC. – Cross-Defendant
PEASLEE KATHRYN – Plaintiff/Petitioner
RIGGS DAVID G. – Defendant/Respondent
RIGHTER PHILIP – Defendant/Respondent
RILEY & ASSOCIATES – Former Attorney for Def/Respondent
RILEY GRANT K. LAW OFFICES OF – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
TIEDT JOHN E. – Cross-Defendant
V1 CUT PRODUCTIONS INC. – Defendant/Respondent
VICK SCOTT – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
WAY GEOFFREY S. – Attorney for Claimant
WESTFALL CURTIS A. – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
WORLD INVESTMENT GROUP LIMITED (HK) – Defendant/Respondent
WRIGHT FLIGHT AVIATION INC. – Defendant/Respondent

Next we have another one AGAINST Dave Riggs. This one is for fraud and is…again…related to the movies. I believe there are 31 plaintiffs in this one. That’s a lot of people!

Case Number: BC377905
JON ZIMMERMAN ET AL VS DAVID G RIGGS ET AL
Filing Date: 09/21/2007
Case Type: Fraud (no contract) (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
07/22/2011 at 09:00 am in department 39 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Conference-Bankruptcy Status (R/T BC366673(LEAD) BC419389BC425176 & BC429992)
________________________________________
Parties
ADLER TODD – Plaintiff/Petitioner
AFTERBURNER FILMS INC. – Defendant/Respondent
AFTERBURNER FILMS LLC – Defendant/Respondent
ARNOLD BILL – Plaintiff/Petitioner
BARBOUNIS CONSTANTINE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
BARBOUNIS VASILI G. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
BASAK CHRIS – Plaintiff/Petitioner
BRYANT JULIAN – Plaintiff/Petitioner
CAMERON TROY – Plaintiff/Petitioner
DOES 1 THROUGH 100 – Defendant/Respondent
DONOVAN JAMES M. LAW OFFICES OF – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
ERIC NORWITZ – Associated Counsel
FRECHETTE WAYNE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
GALANTI JOHN – Plaintiff/Petitioner
GREEDER ARTHUR F. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
HOCHMAN SALKIN RETTIG TOSCHER & PEREZ – Former Attorney for Deft/Resp
IRETON COLLIN – Plaintiff/Petitioner
JANSEN MIKE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
KANDEL SOLON L. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
KOORENNY MARK K. ESQ. – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
LEWIS JASON – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MACH 1 AVIATION INC. – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN DICK – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MATTERN TODD A. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MATTERN TRAVIS A. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MATTERN TRENT A. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MATTERNS TERRENCE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
MILLER PATRICIA – Plaintiff/Petitioner
NUNAN PETE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
PRESSLEY JOSH – Plaintiff/Petitioner
RECCHIA ANTHONY – Plaintiff/Petitioner
RIGGS DAVID G. – Defendant/Respondent
RILEY GRANT K. – Former Attorney for Def/Respondent
RILEY GRANT K. LAW OFFICES OF – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
SCHMIDT KYLE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
SNYDER DAVE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
SNYDER TODD – Plaintiff/Petitioner
STOCKER MIKE – Plaintiff/Petitioner
TONY TISCARENO – Intervenor
TRIBUIANI ALPHONSE R. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
WESTFALL CURTIS A. ESQ. – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
ZILBER ISAAC – Plaintiff/Petitioner
ZIMMERMAN BOB – Plaintiff/Petitioner
ZIMMERMAN JON – Plaintiff/Petitioner

This one is Riggs suing everybody. This is for Business Tort. Someone can comment if they know exactly what that means.

Case Number: BC419389
DAVID G RIGGS ET AL VS JON ZIMMERMAN ET AL
Filing Date: 08/06/2009
Case Type: Other Commercial/Business Tort (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
07/22/2011 at 09:00 am in department 39 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Conference-Bankruptcy Status (R/T BC366673(LEAD) BC377905BC425176 & BC429992)
________________________________________
Parties
ADLER TODD – Defendant/Respondent
AFTERBURNER FILMS INC. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
ARNOLD BILL – Defendant/Respondent
BARBOUNIS CONSTANTINE – Defendant/Respondent
BARBOUNIS VASILI G. – Defendant/Respondent
BARILARI DONALD – Defendant/Respondent
BASAK CHRIS – Defendant/Respondent
BASS ENTERTAINMENT INC – Defendant
BASS ENTERTAINMENT PICTURES LLC – Defendant
BASS KIM – Defendant/Respondent
BRENNAN LAWRENCE P. JR. ESQ. – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
BRYANT JULIAN – Defendant/Respondent
CAMERON TROY – Defendant/Respondent
DELPOLITO MICHAEL – Defendant/Respondent
DOES 1 THROUGH 120 – Defendant/Respondent
FRECHETTE WAYNE – Defendant/Respondent
GALANTI JOHN – Defendant/Respondent
GLENN MICHAEL J. ESQ. – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
GREEDER ARTHUR F. – Defendant/Respondent
HEARD KEVIN – Defendant/Respondent
IRETON COLLIN – Defendant/Respondent
JANSEN MICHAEL – Defendant/Respondent
KANDEL SOLON L. – Defendant/Respondent
LEWIS JASON – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN RICHARD – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN TERRENCE – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN TODD A. – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN TRAVIS A. – Defendant/Respondent
MATTERN TRENT A. – Defendant/Respondent
MILLER PATRICIA – Defendant/Respondent
NO MORE GAMES LLC – Defendant
NORWITZ ERIC – Defendant/Respondent
NORWITZ ERIC ESQ. – Attorney for Defendant/Respondent
NUNAN PETE – Defendant/Respondent
PRESSLEY JOSH – Defendant/Respondent
RECCHIA ANTHONY – Defendant/Respondent
RIGGS DAVID G. – Plaintiff/Petitioner
SCHMIDT KYLE – Defendant/Respondent
SNYDER DAVE – Defendant/Respondent
SNYDER TODD – Defendant/Respondent
STOCKER MIKE – Defendant/Respondent
THE EXTREME FILM CREW INC. – Defendant/Respondent
TRIBUIANI ALPHONSE R. – Defendant/Respondent
ZILBER ISAAC – Defendant/Respondent
ZIMMERMAN JON – Defendant/Respondent
ZIMMERMAN ROBERT – Defendant/Respondent

Here’s another with someone suing Riggs. This time it’s the Russians he was working with to make Kerosene Cowboys. Again, Contractual Fraud

Case Number: BC431213
DMITRI GUZEEV ET AL VS DAVID RIGGS ET AL
Filing Date: 02/04/2010
Case Type: Contractual Fraud (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
07/08/2011 at 08:30 am in department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Conference-Bankruptcy Status
________________________________________
Parties
BELKANOV ALEXANDER – Plaintiff/Petitioner
DOES 1 TO 100 – Defendant/Respondent
GLENN MICHAEL J. ESQ. – Attorney for Deft/Respnt
GUZEEV DMITRI – Plaintiff/Petitioner
KEROSENE COWBOYS INC. – Defendant/Respondent
KONVITZ JEFFREY – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
RIGGS DAVID – Defendant/Respondent
SVOROG-AFTERBURNER FILMS INC. – Defendant/Respondent
TEPPER SCOTT J. LAW OFFICES OF – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

And yet another one AGAINST Riggs. Defamation.

Case Number: BC432305
WRIGHT FLIGHT AVIATION INC VS DAVID G RIGGS ET AL
Filing Date: 02/22/2010
Case Type: Defamation (Slander/Libel) (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
06/06/2011 at 08:30 am in department 69 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Status Conference (RE: DEFENDANTS’ BANKRUPTCY STATUS)
________________________________________
Parties
BAIN CHAS F. – Defendant/Respondent
DOES 1 THROUGH 50 – Defendant/Respondent
GERSH JEFFREY F. ESQ. – Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
GLENN MICHAEL J. – Atty for Defendant and Cross-Compl
GREENE CORRI – Defendant/Respondent
MACH I AVIATION INC. – Defendant and Cross-Complainant
RIGGS DAVID G. – Defendant/Respondent
WRIGHT FLIGHT AVIATION INC. – Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant

This final one is the most recent one filed. This is another Contractual Fraud case. The difference in this one is that it isn’t for the movies. This one is related to the trip Dave took to China last year to perform in some air shows.

Case Number: PC049795
RANDY SHATZ VS DAVE RIGGS, ET AL.
Filing Date: 12/13/2010
Case Type: Contractual Fraud (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending
________________________________________
Future Hearings
05/10/2011 at 08:30 am in department F50 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311
Conference-Case Management
________________________________________
Parties
LAW OFFICES OF JAMES M. DONOVAN – Attorney for Defendant
MACH ONE AVIATION INC. – Defendant
RIGGS DAVE – Defendant
SHATZ RANDY – Plaintiff
SIMONS STEVEN A. – Attorney for Plaintiff
________________________________________

These are just active ones that were found and do not include MANY others that were either dismissed or settled over the years. As you can see all but the last one are listed as pending due to the Bankruptcies that Riggs has filed. Since that one has a hearing date set for next week it’s a fair bet it will end up in the same status.

Riggs has filed personal bankruptcy for himself as well as all the companies that are actually in his name. Whirly Bird (which owns the Lancair 360) is conspicuously absent. That means that plane won’t be considered an asset. A couple months before he filed, the L-39 shows up registered to his friend in Kansas, so that won’t either. No lawyers here but it’s hoped the ones involved take a long hard look at how his possessions moved around just previous to him filing. Hiding assets is against the law. It also seems completely unreasonable that someone can claim bankruptcy on debt that was surely accrued through less than honest actions.

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Let’s talk insurance fraud for a minute

In this post there’s going to need to be a little leeway given by the reader to the author. I’m going to show you an insurance policy that is basically blank. That’s to protect the privacy of the person it was issued to. But the original is available and has been given to the people who need to see it. While it’s difficult for strangers to give total faith to a website like this it can only be hoped that you know that information is being verified as much as possible and nothing would be posted that wasn’t.

This policy was issued to someone in late 2010. So let’s break it down.

It was issued by Aviation Insurance Corporation out of Overland Park Kansas. I did some research.

AVIATION INSURANCE CORPORATION
1739200
Current Mailing Address: Jerry Brockhaus – 600 A EE Kirby Rd, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Business Entity Type: KANSAS FOR PROFIT CORPORATION
Date of Formation in Kansas: 05/22/1990
State of Organization: KS
Current Status: FORFEITED – FAILED TO TIMELY FILE A/R
Resident Agent and Registered Office
Resident Agent: JERRY ROCKHAUS
Registered Office: 6801 W. 121ST ST., OVERLAND PARK, KS 66209
Annual Reports
The following annual report information is valid for active and delinquent status entities only.
Tax Closing Month: 12
The Last Annual Report on File: 12/2008
Next Annual Report Due: 04/15/2010

Hm. That name looks familiar doesn’t it? Same guy that owns the L-39. Oh yeah, same guy that was the insurance agent for Mokan too. And the corporation was forfeited for failure to timely file their annual report.

Now let’s cover all bases and check Missouri records to.

Missouri is nice. They give us the actual documents instead of just cut and paste information.

Here is the 2009 Annual Report for Aviation Insurance Corp. Jerry Brockhaus. (Did you notice that little bitty difference in names? I did).

But the addresses match so I think we’re looking at the same guy..”B” at the beginning of his name or not.

NOW…how is that Missouri Corp doing? Glad you asked. Click here and you’ll see that it was dissolved in August 2010 for failure to file as well.

Guess what? That insurance policy I linked to above? It was issued AFTER August 2010. Read that letter. Big nono. For shame.

The Insurers Affording Coverage? Can’t locate either one on the internet. I’m guessing you can read that signature at the bottom though. Sure looks like “Jerry Brockhous”.

So where is Jerry? Looks like he works for Farmer’s Insurance. Oh look. Same address as on the policy. It should be noted the phone numbers are different and when the person who was given this policy tried to call to verify it at the number on the policy they never got an answer.

Anybody see the pattern here? And keep in mind…Riggs was already convicted of insurance fraud once.

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Curiousity leads down strange roads

Looking at the records of the planes Dave Riggs flies is interesting all by itself!

Let’s start with his Lancair 360. The tail number for that plane is N360DR.
A search of the FAA site shows it registered to:
Aircraft
Mode S Code: 51006247
Certification Class: Experimental
Certification Issued: 2009-12-01
Air Worthiness Test: 1992-09-23
Last Action Taken: 2009-12-15
Current Status: Valid
Owner
Registration Type: Corporation
Owner: Whirly Bird Aviation Inc
Address: Las Vegas, NV 89102
United States
Region: Western-Pacific

So Whirly Bird Aviation owns the plane. Now lets look at Whirly Bird. It’s a Nevada corporation. It’s listed on the Nevada Secretary of State as such:

Status: Default File Date: 10/15/2009
Type: Domestic Limited-Liability Company Entity Number: E0548472009-9
Qualifying State: NV List of Officers Due: 10/31/2010
Managed By: Managers Expiration Date:
NV Business ID: NV20091482595 Business License Exp: Exempt – 003

You can see the information yourself here.

So the corporation was started in October 09 and the Lancair was registered to it December 09

Now see the part where it says “NV List of Officers Due 10/31/2010? That means they haven’t submitted them. That is why the status is “default”.

So, although Dave tells everyone he owns that plane, he technically doesn’t. He’s put it under a corporate name. Probably so he doesn’t lose it when he files bankruptcy. That good ol’ practice of not attaching his name to anything.

Now we have 2 others, the L-39 and the Lancair 4

This is the Wild Child we documented earlier that crashed.
N-number : N39DF
Aircraft Serial Number : 931320
Aircraft Manufacturer : AERO VODOCHODY
Model : L-39
Engine Manufacturer : AMA/EXPR
Model : UNKNOWN ENG
Aircraft Year : 1979
Owner Name : MACH 1 AVIATION INC
Owner Address : 10 UNIVERSAL CITY PLZ STE 2260
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, 91608-1123
Type of Owner : Corporation
Registration Date : 28-Apr-2004
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Experimental
Approved Operations : Exhibition

This plane is currently tied up in bankruptcy proceedings.
N-number : N484E
Aircraft Serial Number : LIV076
Aircraft Manufacturer : DURIZZI
Model : LANCAIR IV-P
Engine Manufacturer : AMA/EXPR
Model : UNKNOWN ENG
Aircraft Year : 1996
Owner Name : MACH 1 AVIATION INC
Owner Address : 1117 DESERT LN STE 804
LAS VEGAS, NV, 89102-2305
Type of Owner : Corporation
Registration Date : 01-Mar-2010
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Experimental
Approved Operations : Amateur Built

Both are registered to Mach 1 Aviation Inc. One lists an address in California, one in Nevada. Let’s look at Nevada first.

This looks a little better. At least it’s still an active corporation.

Status: Active File Date: 8/21/2008
Type: Domestic Corporation Entity Number: E0540282008-7
Qualifying State: NV List of Officers Due: 8/31/2011
Managed By: Expiration Date:
NV Business ID: NV20081675921 Business License Exp: Exempt – 003

But note that it’s listed as Mach ONE not Mach 1. There is a difference if the courts and companies start getting nit picky.

Mach 1 Aviation is listed as such:
Status: Default File Date: 2/27/2004
Type: Domestic Corporation Entity Number: C4961-2004
Qualifying State: NV List of Officers Due: 2/28/2011
Managed By: Expiration Date:
NV Business ID: NV20041394671 Business License Exp: 2/28/2011

In default and currently under bankruptcy.

All of these are listed under a registered agent. What is that? Well the registered agent is the “mailbox” for the corporation. He or she is the person or entity designated by the corporation to receive any lawsuit or other official communication on its behalf. The registered agent may or may not be an owner, shareholder or officer of the corporation. Many corporations use their attorney for this service. And in this case he is also listed as the president, secretary, treasurer and director. Again, effectively removing Riggs’ name from any true (easily found) connection to Mach One Aviation or Mach 1 Aviation, or Mach I aviation.

Next we’ll try California. Same place gives us this information (meaning State of California Secretary of State)

Entity Name: MACH ONE AVIATION LLC
Entity Number: 200001510215
Date Filed: 01/10/2000
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 5425 SHAFTER AVE
Entity City, State, Zip: OAKLAND CA 94618
Agent for Service of Process: THOMAS GONZALES
Agent Address: 10 MERCURY COURT
Agent City, State, Zip: PLEASANT HILL CA 94523

Again active, but these are two separate corporations. Which again, limits his liability. And again registered with an agent, so removes his name from anything easily locatable. It should be noted that using an agent is common.

Now this is where it can get confusing and I want you to stay with me. …
Mach ONE aviation is registered in both Nevada and California. Two separate corporations. These are Dave Riggs and we know that.
Both planes are registered to MACH 1 Aviation (the number, not the word spelled out).
Mach 1 Aviation is a whole different corporation that runs a flight school at Van Nuys Airport and has NOTHING to do with Riggs. But I’m sure anyone with a brain can see how this could be bad for his business.

Saying that again…Mach ONE Aviation and Mach 1 Aviation are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES.

But as you can see, Dave Riggs uses the two interchangeably. No corporate lawyers here but I’m guessing that is an important distinction especially with the other company in existence. Yes the registration addresses are different and the agents are different (for example Mach 1 actually lists the true owner, nothing to hide there). But lawsuits have been filed for less. It should also be noted there are many companies that use the name Mach One or Mach 1 in the United States. I just found these interesting because they are flying out of the same airport.

Also, because these are split into two states he shows the income of Mach One in Nevada to be exempt for low income.

So here we have another example of Riggs playing loose with the details and flying through loopholes big enough for the L-39.

There is way more to the stories of these planes but that will have to follow at another date.

Okay for fun one more.. stay with us here.

N139CK
N-number : N139CK
Aircraft Serial Number : 430315
Aircraft Manufacturer : AERO VODOCHODY
Model : L39C
Engine Manufacturer : IVCHENKO
Model : AL-25SERIES
Aircraft Year : 1974
Owner Name : NAZARENE AVIATION FELLOWSHIP INC
Owner Address : 6801 W 121ST ST
OVERLAND PARK, KS, 66209-2005
Type of Owner : Corporation
Registration Date : 13-May-2010
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Experimental
Approved Operations : Exhibition

Ok this is the one he buzzed the pier with. It’s registered to a Kansas company. Wonder who that could be? Let’s go look.

NAZARENE AVIATION FELLOWSHIP, INC
6419048
Current Mailing Address: 6801 W 121, OVERLAND PARK, KS 66209
Business Entity Type: KANSAS NOT FOR PROFIT CORPORATION
Date of Formation in Kansas: 04/12/2010
State of Organization: KS
Current Status: ACTIVE AND IN GOOD STANDING
Resident Agent and Registered Office
Resident Agent: JERRY BROCKHAUS
Registered Office: 6801 W 121, OVERLAND PARK, KS 66209

Now this just gets more and more interesting.
This “non-profit” was set up on April 12, 2010 and registered the plane a month later. And who is the owner? Jerry Brockhaus. You remember him right? We talked about him in an earlier post. He was the insurance agent for Mokan Productions. He’s known Riggs for awhile now. A search of his address shows the Overland Park Addy as the address for a Farmer’s Insurance agent (this will be important in our next post). It’s also interesting to note that the Lancair above (N484E) was registered in March of 2010. Busy people during the beginning of 2010 huh?

There really is a pattern here if you put it all together.

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Emails..

I will post these in a separate page as well but it would be great if anyone who comes across this site were to email the following people and express their dismay at Dave Riggs being involved in the Camarillo Air Show (or any air show for that matter). Bear in mind that he lost his pilot certificate for a year for buzzing the Santa Monica Pier during what he called a “marketing” stunt for a movie. Camarillo air show states he is the “marketing/media” person .. what will his stunt for them be? He is also currently waiting for the appeal of his 60 day jail sentence to be heard. That’s supposed to happen this summer. If it does he could potentially be in jail in August during the air show (which would solve our problem but potentially leave the Air Show hanging high and dry for a scheduled pilot). Do you think he’s even mentioned to them that could be the case? There are plenty of responsible, exciting, experienced pilots to be involved in that show. We don’t need Riggs. Please tell them so.

LA Times: dan.weikel@latimes.com
Santa Monica District Attorney: attorney@smgov.net (Terry White)
Kansas City Business Journal: bkaberline@bizjournals.com
Camarillo Acorn: Camarillo Acorn: camarillo@theacorn.com
Camarillo Airport Manager: jorge.rubio@ventura.org UPDATED TO NEW MANAGER
Camarillo Airshow Air boss: jonawhited@gmail.com
EAA Main Chapter: sbuss@eaa.org
Camarillo City Manager: citymanager@ci.camarillo.ca.us
Camarillo City Hall: cityhall@ci.camarillo.ca.us Must ATT: To each Councilmember and Mayor
Councilmember Don Waunch
Councilmember Kevin Kildee
Councilmember Charlotte Craven
Mayor Mike Morgan
Vice Mayor Jan McDonald
Ventura County Star: http://www.vcstar.com/ Contact Manager and Editor

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Blame the other guy

Here’s a little nugget to mull over.

There’s a site called “Professional Pilots Rumour Network”. They have a message board. There was a discussion of the flight at the Santa Monica Pier.

You can go check it out yourself at their site here.

But I’d like to just direct you to one of the comments. This one:

The text is tough to read here (but crystal clear there) but here it is in case you can’t read it:

The cold hard reality is that Skip Holm’s aerial skills are what you are seeing in that video. Skip is a great airman but lacks a great deal of common sense. The second ship in the formation was flown by Rigsg – a Pirvate Pilot – who took the hit for Skip. Why would he do that? Skip Holm rolled on his wingman thats why. Skip had been violated three times before and figured it was the only way to save his ticket.

“Never lose sight of your wingman” — Especially if you intend to rat him out to the Feds.

Shame on you Skip — but great flying!

(Please note the misspelling of both “Riggs” and “Private” are the posters typos not mine. That quote is copy and pasted)
Now why is this important? Simple really. The name of the poster is “FlySafeLA”. Fly Safe LA. Now who in the world could that be?

Several days ago I checked the registration information for Dave Riggs sites. One of them is of course afterburnerjets.com. Here is the registration information:

Registrant:
Mach One Aviation

12400 Ventura Blvd
Suite 674
Studio City CA, California 91604
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: AFTERBURNERJETS.COM
Created on: 12-Sep-08
Expires on: 12-Sep-11
Last Updated on: 13-Sep-10

Administrative Contact:
Riggs, David flysafela@aol.com
Mach One Aviation
12400 Ventura Blvd
Suite 674
Studio City CA, California 91604
United States
+1.3104630115

Technical Contact:
Riggs, David flysafela@aol.com
Mach One Aviation
12400 Ventura Blvd
Suite 674
Studio City CA, California 91604
United States
+1.3104630115

Please note the email address listed for the Administrative Contact : flysafela@aol.com

Now what are the chances of someone who recently signed on to that site using the same handle as Dave’s email address and BLAMING SOMEONE FOR HIS ACTIONS?

Yes…things that make you go “hmmmmm”

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Kill Speed Article

This article from November 7th 2009 is interesting not as much for its content but for the comments left behind. Any article you read anywhere that mentions him has someone chiming in about what Riggs has done and what a waste of oxygen he is (often with very interesting and entertaining descriptions of him). That doesn’t say much in itself as there is ALWAYS someone ready to post something negative about people. What makes it interesting is I have yet to come across one where anything positive is posted or where anyone has anything to say in Dave’s defense. Why would that be I wonder? Maybe because there are no redeeming qualities to defend.

That is the main reason for the existence of this site. To gather everything in one place instead of scattered all over the internet where those people who don’t know what person they’ve gotten involved with can easily find it.

In doing research for this site it’s been eye opening to find how many people have been lied to or cheated by Riggs but who are afraid to speak out. They are not physically afraid of him but he is well known for his fondness for lawsuits (every person mentioned in an article has been tied up, sometimes for years, in Riggs’ various lawsuits). That’s another problem with our justice system. They aren’t seeing (or are actively ignoring) the insane amount of lawsuits Riggs has brought against people over the years. These people include those who were burned in business deals, had planes stolen or cheated out of, left with unpaid bills, or had their reputations ruined.

One of Rigg’s favorite lawsuits to file against people are the defamation of character variety. Funny since the site referenced in the above article did exactly that to the people involved in Kill Speed. So people have to be content with posting anonymously as “the terminator” or some other nickname to keep from ending up back in court.

The most interesting one on this particular page is the one by “Tony Tiscareno”. “Tony”‘ states:

“It says the lawyer is Epic’s, not Bass’s, dummy. Read the details. If I’m being accused a lawyer would be prudent anyway. And google the ex-con making the accusation “David Riggs” and “Tampa Bay Business Journal” and “videotape”. The accuser is a twice-convicted con artist.”

If you look at the site address that is attached to his name it is “http://daveriggsstolemymoney.com” (That’s Dave Riggs stole my money if you aren’t good at picking out the words) Of course that site doesn’t exist. I think “Tony” was just trying to make a point. The very funny part of this though is that the real Tony Tiscareno is the one who actually claimed he wrote Fast Glass and assisted in that movie getting completely off track. No, it’s doubtful the real Tony left that comment, but it does show the attitude of those that have been the victim of Riggs.

Keep an eye on the page links to the right…there will be a collection of quotes that have been left on various articles. It will help to show just how Riggs has affected people. Even if they have to remain anonymous for whatever reason they may have.

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Stupid is as stupid does

Here’s an interesting video that’s widely thought to be Riggs showing off his aerial skills.

Look at the plane in the video and then compare to this picture:

Here is a photograph of the plane (taken by Chris Kennedy and featured on Airport-Data.com):
248717

The plane in the picture is most definitely Riggs’ plane It is now registered to Nazarene Aviation Fellowship. The one in the video..while never actually showing his face also appears to be him. It’s unfortunate that the tail number is not visible but more than one person has been convinced that it is Riggs both from familiarity as well as by the marking on the planes in both.

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Portrait of a Charmer

This originally appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 5, 1994. A direct link to it to share with you was not available but credit where credit is due.

Portrait of a charmer. (convicted confidence man David Riggs)
Atlanta Business Chronicle
| August 05, 1994 | Gillam, Carey

Convicted con man David Riggs making himself at home here
When David Riggs moved to Atlanta and started looking for business deals last year, the 31-year-old globe-trotting businessman was all confidence.
After all, Riggs had earned himself a cool $3 million by starting and then selling a video production company in Kansas City, Mo. And he had won friends and influence around the world during travels that took him from London to Hong Kong.

At least, that is the story Riggs told to Fred Wynne, a wealthy Hilton Head, S.C., businessman, as Riggs negotiated his way into a business relationship with Wynne and an eventual job as chief operating officer of an Atlanta video production company co-owned by Wynne called Video Post.
But the story Riggs told left out a few details.

Riggs did not tell Wynne that he used his Kansas City company, Mokan Productions Ltd., to con several banks and investors out of millions of dollars and dupe a major accounting firm into helping him launch a public offering in the company’s stock. He did not tell Wynne that federal prosecutors charged him with 29 counts of bank, wire and passport fraud in connection with Mokan and that he pleaded guilty to three of those counts in 1990.

And he did not tell Wynne that his last address before moving to Atlanta was Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas.
Riggs also neglected to tell Wynne that before his imprisonment he traveled the world using a variety of false identities and fraudulent passports with the FBI in hot pursuit. And he left out a stint in South Africa, where South African police believe Riggs masterminded an illegal rhino horn and elephant ivory smuggling operation. Before South African police could catch up with him, Riggs was arrested in Hong Kong for passport fraud and held for a year in prison until his extradition back to the United States.

‘Rhino Cowboy’
Riggs, who was dubbed the “Rhino Cowboy” by foreign newspapers, saw his relationship with Wynne fizzle when his past was uncovered by a suspicious associate. But the brief encounter with Riggs has left Wynne mired in lawsuits and countersuits and frustrated at how easily Riggs charmed him.

“I was infatuated with Dave,” he says. “He was a wonderful salesman. I thought . . . ‘I can’t let this guy get away,’” says Wynne. “This is the damnedest thing I’ve ever been through in my life.”
But that’s not all. Federal investigators have received information that Riggs is trying to do business in Africa again.

Authorities in the Department of the Interior’s Division of Fish & Wildlife in Washington, D.C., and the South African Police Authority say the information — received from informants in Africa — centers around the recruitment of investors for an African hunting lodge.

The lodge, dubbed the Zambezi Safari Lodge, is to be located in Zimbabwe, Africa, which borders South Africa.
Visitors would hunt a range of wildlife, including rhino and elephant, according to the private placement memorandum for the $3.2 million lodge project. The memorandum says Riggs is a “substantial investor” in the lodge venture and is “director of operations.” A copy of the memorandum and supporting investment materials has been circulating among potential investors since mid-1993.
The possibility of a man imprisoned for fraud and suspected of smuggling rhino horn and ivory being involved in developing a rhino and elephant hunting lodge in Africa worries law enforcement authorities there.

“I would like for him to stay as far away from South Africa as possible,” says South African Police Authority Captain Piet Lategan. “And we would seriously look at anything he was doing anywhere in Africa.”
Lategan says it was earlier this year when informants warned police. Lategan then contacted investigators with the U.S. Department of the Interior who were familiar with Riggs’ previous activities.
According to Lategan, who led the investigation into the South African smuggling ring in 1989, Riggs only stole a small amount of rhino horn — about 17 kilograms worth about $2,000 — before he was arrested in Hong Kong for using a fraudulent passport.

But Riggs was plotting much bigger things, says Lategan. An undercover sting operation had turned up a plan by Riggs to raid the vaults of the Natal Parks Board offices in Maritzburg where tons of valuable ivory and horn were stored.

Lategan says he and other South African investigators were “lying in wait” for a move on the Parks Board, when immigration officials nabbed Riggs in Hong Kong.
‘It’s a difficult road for someone like myself’

Atlanta Business Chronicle attempted to interview Riggs, now 32, who has been keeping a low profile in Atlanta, living for a while in an Alpharetta apartment and driving a Saturn. But Riggs refuses to comment about Wynne or Zambezi Lodge. He is trying to find honest work, though it is hard to find people who will trust him, he says.
Since his arrival in Atlanta, Riggs has tried unsuccessfully to start his own video equipment leasing company, as well as a video production facility called Brick House Editorial Inc.
“It’s a difficult road for someone like myself,” says Riggs, who was first arrested at age 17 for trying to rob a motel. His second arrest came a month later when he was caught trying to shoplift a television. His third arrest was for defrauding his employer, an insurance company.

Riggs’ lengthy criminal history represents a “pattern of escalating criminal enterprise,” according to a motion to deny bond for Riggs compiled by federal prosecutors in Kansas City before Riggs went to Leavenworth.

“He’s a good talker and he is a pretty intelligent guy,” says one law enforcement official who worked on the Riggs case in Kansas City.
Riggs’ Atlanta attorney, Christine Stadler, downplays Riggs’ involvement with the Zambezi project, saying Riggs told her he was not a substantial investor and that all he did was some promotional work for the venture last August. Stadler says Riggs told her that he has asked the project’s backers to stop using his name. In addition, Stadler says Riggs told her the project has folded.
The Zambezi private placement memorandum states that Riggs recently “imported a Hughes 300C Helicopter into Zimbabwe . . .”; is a “permanent resident of Zimbabwe”; and is in the process of “applying for Zimbabwe Citizenship Status.”

But as a parolee, Riggs is under travel restrictions. He is not allowed to leave Atlanta without permission from his parole officer and he is not allowed to travel internationally.
The private placement memorandum was authored by International Resort Development Group Ltd. The subscription agreement put together by the group asks investors to pay $2,500 each for 1,000 investment units.

To accompany the private placement memorandum, Riggs produced a videotape with professionally shot video of African wildlife and voice-over narration about the Zambezi Safari Lodge.
That tape provides a further twist to the questions being raised about Riggs, because The National Geographic Society is evaluating whether to take legal action against Riggs for allegedly appropriating copyrighted wildlife video for his own use, according to Pat Gang, a National Geographic employee who has compared the Riggs tape to Society footage. “We’re going to try to do something about it,” Gang says.

Going to Kansas City
Riggs has made repeated trips in a private plane back to Kansas City, and corrections officials there say they have not received any notification of those visits, as required by the terms of Riggs’ parole. That alone is an offense that could get Riggs thrown back in jail, say parole officials there. Dan Rechter, Riggs’ parole officer in Atlanta, refuses to comment on Riggs and his travels.
Riggs is the Southeast regional manager for Mega Byte Computer Graphics, according to a lawsuit filed in May by Riggs against Video Post’s Wynne. Jerry Brockhaus, president of Mega Byte and the former insurance agent for Mokan Productions, refused to return numerous phone calls seeking comment on Riggs’ role at the company.

Atlanta businesswoman Cindy Garguilo also is reluctant to talk much about her dealings with Riggs. She was Wynne’s business partner at one time and the person who unearthed Riggs’ past. She hopes other business people steer clear of Riggs.

“He never told the truth once,” she says. “In my opinion, if anyone was considering doing business with Riggs, I’d say ‘put a lock on your wallet and run the other way.’”

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More to come

There is much more to come and it will posted as quickly as possible. Please keep checking back for updates. In the meantime don’t forget to check the “About this Site” page for information on contacting the webmaster if you have anything you would like to share with us. Below is a timeline of all the items so far detailed on this site. Its purpose is to give a quick view of the continuing deceiftul and criminal activity of David Riggs. This shows a continuing pattern, as stated previously, that the only common denominator is David G. Riggs. There are sure to be items missing and they will be added as the site is updated daily.

1980 – 17 year old Riggs arrested for stealing $150 from a Ramada Inn and then found with fraudulently obtained credit cards and drivers licenses. 2 years probation
1980 – shoplifted a tv – 60 day jail sentence suspended – additional 1 year probation
Sometime between 1980 and 1983 – pleaded guilty to insurance fraud – additional 5 years probation
Between 1985 & 1987 – opened Mokan Productions and then set up a company in Nashville called National Studio Supply that sold fictitious video equipment to Mokan Productions

1987 – Mokan Productions deal fell apart and resulted in a 29 count indictment
1987- Riggs takes $1 million dollars (part cash part wire transfers) and goes to the Cayman Islands after allegedly destroying 8 trash bags worth of paperwork from Mokan.

1988 – Settles in South Africa under the name “Dave Rogers” Police begin investigating him on suspicion of plotting to steal rhino horns and ivory
1988 – Gets arrested in Hong Kong with a suitcase full of horns and ivory and charged for using a false Australian passport under the name “Michael Joseph East”
Spends a year in jail in Hong Kong.
A year to the day of being jailed he is extradited back to the United States.

January 1990 – arraigned on 28 counts of bank fraud and one count of passport fraud.
Pleads guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of passport fraud. Sentenced to 10 years at Leavenworth and got credit for his prison time in Hong Kong.

1993 – released from prison he heads to Atlanta. Goes to work for a video post-production company named Video Post. Fired when the owner finds out about his criminal history.

1994 – settled lawsuits and applied for parole transfer, moved to Tampa

1997 – articles appear in the Tampa Bay Business Journal detailing the suppliers, vendors and partners that he has managed to con during his 3 years in Tampa while running Digital Majik Post Productions, Inc.

2000s – He begins Afterburner Films

2006 – Attempts to work on movies such as “Fast Glass” (which ends up not getting released due to lawsuits) and “Kerosene Cowboys” (also never released) and his partnership with a Russian production company falls apart.

2006 – Two pilots killed while following flight direction by Riggs while filming scenes for Succubus: Hell-Bent

2008 – The site for Mach 1 Aviation/Afterburnerjets.com advertises training and flights in jets. They advertise David Riggs as one of the “Top Gun” Pilots available. It is not noted that Riggs does not have the proper rating to be taking flights for charge.
2008 – Caught buzzing the Santa Monica Pier. Loses his pilot certificate for a year, sentenced to 60 days in jail, 60 days community service (to be done cleaning Santa Monica beach), 36 months probation and a small fine.

April 25,2010 – Afterburner Films, Inc files Chapter 7 bankruptcy
October 2010 – Goes to China to fly in the Air Races. Ends up in a lawsuit with at least one of the pilots that goes on that trip.

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Please look..

On the right hand side of this page is a box with the title “Pages” Please make sure to check it for more information about this site as well as links to the various articles and sites discussed within the postings. There is also contact information included for getting in touch with the webmaster of AviationCriminal.com.

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The Rhino Cowboy destroyed the Kerosene Cowboys

Kerosene Cowboys was another movie Riggs attempted to make. This was supposed to be a high flying movie ala Top Gun. There is an interesting article/interview on the JC Chasezfan site regarding the movie. He doesn’t think the show will ever see the light of day and according to the information (or lack thereof) on the net he’s probably right.

No, no, no. ‘Kerosene Cowboys’ will hopefully not see the light of day. It never finished shooting. Kind of a project that had so much potential that just became a disaster, because of that and corrupt producers, basically … production company.

This movie was supposed to be a collaboration between American and Russian producers. The first of it’s kind! Svarog Films and Afterburner Films together. In a search of the Svarog films site I can’t find any listing for Kerosene Cowboys and most of the other links and press for it that Riggs had up have disappeared as well. It also no longer appears on his IMDB page. Also, in looking at all the movies that he has listed on his sites that were supposed to be made, not a single one of them has ever hit the screen with the exception of Succubus: Hell-Bent.

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Why did the FAA do so little?

After reading the previous posts it becomes clear that one of the most immediate questions is why is David Riggs still flying? That question has been asked many times and so far there isn’t a reasonable answer. Why doesn’t the FAA do more?

In this article it’s stated that when the FAA did the investigation it was discovered that not only had Riggs made the flight over the Santa Monica Pier but he also was selling flights to the public for thousands of dollars each. This is illegal for (at least) 2 reasons. First of all these experimental planes are not allowed to be used for commercial flight. They are restricted to air shows, flight demonstrations or training flights over sparsely populated areas. They cannot carry passengers for hire unless the FAA approves. Secondly, to carry passengers for hire you must have a commercial rating. Riggs didn’t have one until he got his pilot certificate back in 2010. Well before this incident occurred.

Another concern in this investigation was that the L-39 that Riggs was flyinig in was not being repaired and maintained in compliance with FAA regulations. His repair records were incomplete or missing and there was missing documentation that certain parts that are required to be replaced at certain time intervals had, in fact, been replaced.

It should be noted that both inspectors have since left the FAA. George Erdel had already previously planned to retire and Kevin Sullivan was terminated 5 days before his probationary status as a new employee was complete. Both filed complaints with the FAA’s inspector general and the federal Office of Special Counsel.

As this article states the one thing they couldn’t, or didn’t prevent, was Riggs getting his certificate back, which he did when the 12 month revocation was over.

He is now scheduled to fly at the Wings Over Camarillo Air Show in August 2011. Since this is an air show that features many general aviation planes and caters to the fans of such planes, one must ask how they can support putting a man in the sky overhead at an event that is only about 20 miles away from the Santa Monica Pier fiasco that he caused and was found guilty of.

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Camarillo Air Show

Anyone reading please go to Pacific Flyer and email the editor (the link in the “Contact Us” box) and link them to this site. Ask why Camarillo Airport is allowing the man who recklessly buzzed the Santa Monica Pier, had his pilot certificate revoked for a year and is currently appealing a jail sentence for the criminal conviction that followed, to participate in an Event at Camarillo. Do they truly want an irresponsible pilot like Dave Riggs to be flying?

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Another blast from the past.

So the problem with Riggs is that he is a dangerous pilot who takes unneccesary risks and shouldn’t be allowed in the air. But in researching articles for this site it’s impossible to not sit here in stunned silence staring at the computer thinking “where do you even start?” Looking at Riggs’ history makes it even MORE convincing that not only is this guy a danger in the air, he’s a menace on the ground. He deserves to be in jail..for a very long time. Not only has the FAA done an injustice by continuing to allow this man to fly, the justice system has failed as well by not having this guy doing time. The previous entry took a look at much of his history but there’s another article out there that does as well.

Arthur Frederick wrote a very detailed article back in 1997. That article was published in the Tampa Bay Business Journal and can be found here. At this point Riggs had left Atlanta and moved to Tampa. It only took him being there for 3 years to leave a mess of bad debts and bad feelings behind. The interesting thing with this article is that in every single instance Riggs said it wasn’t his fault, it was a client, or a partner, or an employer. But the ONLY common denominator is Riggs. That’s a good con man. Some of his clients spoke highly of him, but some, as well assuppliers, distributors and business partners all had a very very different story.

Here is one of my favorite parts:


According to various people, Riggs has claimed to be the recipient of Emmy and Clio awards; to have done work for such major clients as Mitsubishi Electronics; to have been the author of the “This Bud’s For You” slogan; to have served as a backup member of the U.S. Olympic skeet shooting team, and to have played the trombone in the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus band.

An investigation by the Business Journal — including interviews with more than two dozen people locally and elsewhere who know Riggs or have had dealings with him — revealed that many of those claims are suspect. In response, Riggs now says he either didn’t make the claims or that they were distorted by others. For example, Riggs claims in a brochure to have won many industry awards, “including the coveted Emmy and Clio awards.” But in an interview this week, he first declined to discuss the Emmy, then said it had been won by someone else he had worked with.

“That has to do with clients and we don’t discuss anything more than the public record, which is easily obtainable,” Riggs said. “It is something that is very proprietary, something we don’t discuss.”

Later in the interview, Riggs said the Emmy had actually been awarded to a client for a project that Riggs had worked on.
“The Emmy was something we won, we don’t have a statue of it. We just edited a piece, it was a regional Emmy and they don’t give but one statue, and the producer has the statue,” Riggs said.

Now today take a trip over here: Riggs Bio which is currently on HIS website for Afterburner Films. If you scroll down you find a box titled “Who is Afterburner”. In this box he states he has worked on over 100 films including Lethal Weapon 4, American Pie and others doing marketing campaigns. It ALSO states HE created the “This Bud’s For You” Campaign and won the Clio Award for it. Doesn’t say he was on the team that created it but that HE did it.

The Bud thing might catch your attention because those were the good old days of Budweiser commercials. The clydesdales, the dalmations and lets not forget the frogs. With a little searching you can find an article here about a guy named Tim Arnold who helped launch the campaign. Also interesting to note is that the “This Buds For You” Campaign was launched in 1979. Riggs would have been 17.

It was 1980 when he was arrested for the credit cards and driver’s licenses mentioned in the preceeding post. So he wrote one of the most successful ad campaigns in history at 17 and a year later was busted for bad documents and shoplifting a television (perhaps he needed it so he could watch his ads?). Okay….

Flash forward to 1997 after another deal fell apart and Riggs was feeling heat so he got a passport in the name of David John Hart, an Overland Park, MO man who had died in an auto accident, and ran to the Cayman Islands.

Another interesting thing is that almost everyone they talked to back then who had been involved in legal proceedings with Riggs had ended up being bound by confidentiality clauses that prevent them from talking about what REALLY happened. How Riggs has managed that is not understood.

One thing is true though..he’s going to run out of people who are willing to settle and agree to keep their mouths shut. There are some people out there who will NOT be silenced in the hopes of getting money and recouping their losses. And there are people who are just sick of seeing this man get away with this over and over and just moving on to his next victims.

When Riggs ended up in jail in Hong Kong he claimed that he was severely beaten. He stated he has a large scar on his forehead, back and arms that resulted from the beatings.

The FBI was chasing him back then as well.

In 1990 he was arraigned on 28 counts of bank fraud and one count of passport fraud in Kansas City.

As always, Riggs said that nothing was his fault or responsibility. That his name didn’t appear on anything. Does this make him innocent? Absolutely not. What it makes him is a really good con man who managed to take advantage of a lot of other people and get them to put up their money, names and reputations while he walked away with the goods and left them holding the bag.

He ended up working out a deal and pleading to 3 counts. He was sentenced to 10 years and served about 3.

Riggs claimed in this article that all of this was the result of a youngster gone wild and that he had changed and was trying to live a moral life. If that were true..why now in 2011 is he still wrapped up in numerous lawsuits with people from all different areas, filing bankruptcy, and stealing and conning all over Southern California?

His final words were “None of that is a justification for what happened to me”.

Mr. Riggs karma is a bitch and I believe she disagrees.

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Some history on David G. Riggs

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To understand why there are so many issues with Riggs it’s important to understand the part of him that so many people seem unaware (or unconcerned with). Riggs has a criminal history that reads like one of the crazy movies he’s tried to produce.

Brian Kaberline at the Kansas City Journal wrote a great article that summed it all up right after the Santa Monica Pier incident. Here is the rundown but go ahead and read the full article here at the Kansas City Journal..

It seems that Riggs already has quite a history in Kansas.

The first report of criminal activity that Mr. Kaberline lists dates back to 1980 when he was arrested for stealing money from a hotel and was found to have fraudulently obtained credit cards and drivers licenses. He was also caught shoplifting and pleaded guilty to an insurance fraud scheme. But did that teach him anything? Not so much.

Later he set up Mokan Productions, which was writing musical jingles and expanded into audio and video production. A $3 million stock offering for Mokan died when its accountants expressed last-minute concerns about the company’s financial information. On December 18, 1987 the Chicago Regional Offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the US District Court charging that Mokan and Riggs violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws by overstating Mokan’s revenues and its backing of incomplete projects in an S-18 registration statement. (SEC v. Mokan Productions, Ltd. and David G. Riggs, WDMO, No. 87-1111-CV-W-8). (LR-11632). You can find the official recording of that here. It’s the second paragraph down.

Next he headed over to South Africa where he was going by the name Dave Rogers (hiding out to avoid prosecution?). He managed to get involved in a plan to smuggle elephant ivory and rhino horns out of the country. A 1989 story in the South African Sunday Times detailed an undercover investigation into Dave Rogers (aka Riggs), supposedly an American lawyer, who hatched an elaborate military-style assault on a Natal Parks Board storeroom to steal confiscated rhino horns and ivory. South African authorities were unable to prosecute him when he was arrested entering Hong Kong with a fraudulent passport with a suitcase full of ivory hidden in women’s underwear.

After serving a year in the Lai Chi Kok Men’s Correctional Center in Hong Kong he was extradited back to the United States to face charges. He faced a 29-count indictment tied to his Mokan days. Riggs agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of wire fraud and a count of passport fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years and given credit for time served in Hong Kong. He served about three years in Leavenworth and a Texas prison before being paroled.

Now Riggs has been in the jet and movie businesses in Los Angeles. As CEO of Afterburner Films, Riggs has worked on a handful of movies only one of which (Succubus: Hell-Bent) that has actually made it to completion and been released. One movie that was known as “Kerosene Cowboys” has yet to be completed and the Russian group that was in partnership with Riggs has taken it over. They are attempting to get it finished but Riggs will have no hand in the final product. Another example is “Fast Glass”. This movie also fell apart at the hands of Riggs and ended up being tied up for years in lawsuits. Those lawsuits have since been settled (mostly, there are still some residual lawsuits going on in relation to the events surrounding it). The end result is that the movie had to find new investors, be retooled and took years to release. It’s now out with the title “Kill Speed”.

Riggs also lists most of his activities under Mach 1 Aviation (or Mach One or Mach I) and was known to sell rides in his jet without a commercial rating. Another crime the FAA didn’t seem to think was worth prosecuting him for. There are many videos on YouTube of people taking these flights and raving about how Riggs gave them a flight and a lesson. Here is one that was uploaded in 2006. Clearly several YEARS before Riggs got the commercial rating necessary since he got it in 2010.

The “stunt” at Santa Monica Pier was attached to one of these movies as he claimed it was a planned flight to promote it for the American Film Market. He did not however get any pre-approval from the FAA. He simply told them he was going to be out (with another plane) flying around the ocean. While the FAA has been lax in its prosecution of Riggs, they would never have been so lax as to allow him to fly multiple passes over the Pier and surely not to do a barrell roll over the ferris wheel. His defense on that one was priceless. “No one was ever in danger because the plane was being flown by an experienced pilot in a well maintained plane.” Even this is up for debate as there are records of Riggs being forced to have maintainance done on his plane that included the “annual” which every plane owner everywhere knows has to be done. So I guess if I’m a racecar driver I can do 150 down the 405 freeway in LA because I’m experienced right? You bet.

When the FAA investigated the Pier incident they prosecuted and and originally his pilot certificate was suspended for 7 months. They appealed to an NTSB judge panel who agreed and it was then revoked for a year. Riggs appealed this but it was upheld. This is when he had to apply to be re-certified and somehow managed to get the commercial rating as well. In the meantime the City of Santa Monica brought charges against Riggs and prosecuted him for reckless operation of an aircraft and endangerment of the public. Eventually Judge Harold Cherness sentenced him to 60 days jail time, 60 days of community service (which he specified would be spent cleaning up Santa Monica Beach) and 36 months probation. The jail time was stayed because Riggs filed an appeal and that is still pending. Once he actually has to do the community service it’s a fair guess there will be folks down at Santa Monica Beach with towels and binoculars to watch and cheer him on. The details of that are on the LA Times here. You can also find a full copy of the report at the NTSB here.

It should be noted that during all of this there were 2 FAA agents that were investigating Riggs. One ended up taking an early retirement, and the other, who was on a probationary status, was fired. It’s rumored that somehow, Riggs got the FAA to back down. Personally I want to know why. Anyone flying in general aviation as a pilot or a passenger should want to know that as well.

Maybe, if enough of us ask we can find out.

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Why we’re all here.

Anyone reading please go to Pacific Flyer and email the editor (the link in the “Contact Us” box) and link them to this site. Go to the page listed to the right titled “Emails” and then email each of the people there and ask why Camarillo Airport is allowing the man who recklessly buzzed the Santa Monica Pier, had his pilot certificate revoked for a year and is currently appealing a jail sentence for the criminal conviction that followed, to participate in an Event at Camarillo. Do they truly want an irresponsible pilot like Dave Riggs to be flying? As concerned citizens who are aware of this mans past AND recent history we have every right to question this decision and we SHOULD. Send them to this website if you can’t or don’t want, to share your own story. BUT TELL THEM.

I’m incredibly disappointed and saddened at how the media, the FAA and others accept, and at times even encourage, the flights of a truly irresponsible and dangerous pilot.  A pilot who thought it was “ok” to buzz the Santa Monica Pier and absolutely terrify innocent people just out enjoying their day.  A pilot who is a known felon.  Is he a good pilot?  Maybe. He’s set some speed records (but it should be stated, he set them and it’s not known if anyone else ever flew the same route and requested a timing for speed, so take those with a grain of salt) and he’s flown for a long time.  But is he a safe or responsible pilot?  Not by a long shot.  Is he someone I would want to hand my safety (and potentially my life) over to?  Not in a million years.  Even knowing he is in the same airspace with me is terrifying. It’s understood that a pilot’s certificate (airplane pilots don’t get licenses, they get certificates although many will say license) can’t be issued based on quality of the person. So the criminal record, the prison time, the lawsuits, the stealing, the cons, the just general ickyness of his humanity isn’t enough.  However, the Pier incident alone should have been enough to ground him.  And it did.  For the year they took his certificate.  Of course he just tried to circumvent them by getting one in Canada. He managed that but the FAA told him they didn’t care, he wasn’t to fly in US airspace. And then he went to China.  He’s already been kicked out of Russia.  But he’s back in the Southern California skies again.  Once the 12 month revocation of his certificate was over he just reapplied. And this time he managed to get the commercial rating he didn’t have before. He’s selling flights in his war plane. He’s done that for years illegally but I guess now it’s legal although still not the best idea those passengers ever had.  Dave Riggs (Google him) is a danger and a menace.  He’s a criminal and he takes unnecessary and irresponsible risks not only with his own life but with others, including the innocent people on the streets and beaches below him.  The fact that the FAA and the court system will not punish him is bad enough.  Even worse is that the General Aviation industry continues to support him, to publish articles by supposedly informed pilots who go up in planes with him and while talking about how bad it is to not know who you are flying with, get in a plane with a man who has already endangered many and scoffed at the laws and rules meant to keep the air safe. It should be noted that at least one article that was published in January of 2011 has since been removed from the website it was on. Kudos to that group for taking away the free publicity when they found out the truth. Do you think that I’m exaggerating?  Well take the case of the Wild Child.  Two people died in the crash of an L-39 while performing stunts for a move that Riggs was producing.  The movie, entitled Succubus: Hell-Bent was released (and got mixed reviews based on what I see at IMDB).  The report I linked to says the pilots were taking flight direction from the producer.  Your favorite and mine, Dave Riggs.  He led them into a move at the end of the day that did not clear terrain and led to the death of both pilots on board as well as total destruction of the plane. The NTSB report states that there is footage of the crash in their possession (as Rigg’s plane filmed the entire thing) and they believe the crash was caused due to the plane not maintaing terrain clearance. Since Riggs was the one directing them he holds some responsibility for the accident in many people’s eyes. Terrance Henry “Terry” Fregly and Lt. Col. Skip “Hoss” Robertson both perished that day and it’s a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. Oddly enough, Succubus: Hell-Bent was the only movie that Riggs has been involved with that has actually been released.

The most recent incident is the Santa Monica Pier Fiasco. Here is the video of that “stunt”.  This includes the 911 calls that were coming in.  Watch the peoples reactions on the pier:

 

This will be covered in more detail in later posts but this gives you the basic idea of what Riggs is capable of. A very basic idea.

General Aviation already has problems with groups trying to shut down private airports, people getting a bit crazy whenever a small plane goes down (almost always due to pilot error).  They want to raise insurance rates, enact stricter laws, ground certain planes, and put stricter regulations on these beautiful amazing “experimental” planes.  And still the online magazines continue to give credit to someone who does more harm for the industry than help. 

Supporting a pilot like Dave Riggs with the DOCUMENTED history that he has … writing about him as some magical pilot who can be held up as the standard and a “positive” example of the pilots behind the sticks in these planes is disappointing, depressing and frustrating.  If the courts and FAA won’t ground this man I ask that the responsible journalists seek out the pilots who not only have the air time but also the integrity that the world of small planes needs to be represented by.  Not a criminal looking for his next mark.

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