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News, Santa Monica, Courts, Pier

Pilot Begins 60-Day Sentence For Low-Level Passes Over The Santa Monica Pier In 2008

Onlookers captured photos and video of the stunt on Nov. 6, 2008.
Onlookers captured photos and video of the stunt on Nov. 6, 2008.

Posted Nov. 16, 2011, 3:10 pm

Mirror Staff

A little over three years ago, 48-year-old pilot David G. Riggs made low-level passes over the Santa Monica Pier to promote a movie his company was making.

Today, Riggs surrendered to authorities to begin serving a 60-day sentence, and was also ordered to clean beaches for 60 days and to pay more than $6,000 in penalties and court fees for the stunt that occurred on Nov. 6, 2008.

The conviction was for violating a provision of the California Public Utilities Code that is designed to protect the public from careless and reckless pilots.

During the stunt, Riggs flew a 1973 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, a Czechoslovakian jet trainer that was popular in the Soviet bloc during the Cold War.

Video from those on and near the pier captured Riggs buzzing the pier at speeds of up to 350 mph.

Riggs, CEO of production company Afterburner Films, was promoting his movie about a maverick squadron of Americans and Russians on a secret mission to Iran.

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Nov. 19, 2011, 11:41:59 pm

Debbie Freemantle said...

I saw the video and it looked awesome. What gives here? No one was hurt. Its ironic that the charges came a year after the event but only 4 days after the city of Santa Monica lost a case with the FAA about closing the santa monica airport. Sounds like payback to me.

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