FAA revokes license of pilot whose partner died in crash in Boulder City


The Federal Aviation Administration revoked the license of a pilot whose business partner died in a crash in Boulder City while the two were giving rides on a pair of military training jets.

The FAA on Tuesday ordered David Glen Riggs to surrender his commercial pilot license for carrying passengers in the Czech-built experimental aircraft when he wasn't allowed to.

Efforts to reach Riggs on Friday weren't immediately successful.

Investigators say Riggs and Douglas Gillis of Solano Beach, Calif., were taking passengers on paid, 45-minute flights aboard the jets on May 18 when one of the aircraft crashed in the desert.

Gilliss and passenger Richard Winslow of Palm Desert, Calif., were killed.

Gilliss was a Vietnam War veteran and former Air Force captain. FAA records show that at the time of the Boulder City crash, he held airline transport pilot, flight instructor and ground instructor certificates that had been issued on Feb. 28, 2011. He was rated as an airline transport pilot and authorized to fly experimental L-29 and L-39 aircraft.

After the fatal crash, FAA investigators were trying to determine whether Riggs was illegally selling rides in his L-39 Albatross trainer jet.

Riggs' civilian airmen certificates previously had been revoked for a year after he buzzed the Santa Monica, Calif., pier in 2008.

Records show Gilliss' airline transport pilot certificate also had been revoked for a year under an emergency order on Sept. 28, 2009, for signing a false or fraudulent Flight Review Endorsement sticker indicating David Zweigle had completed a flight review in an Aero-Vodochody model L-29 aircraft on July 4, 2009.

Zweigle, 42, the airport director for Tehachapi, Calif., was killed along with Robert Chamberlain, 63, a former Air Force test pilot, when their L-29 suddenly flew up and to the left of a formation of planes flying in Tehachapi's Independence Day parade in 2009. The jet crashed between houses in the community of Golden Hills

 

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