YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Look, up in the sky!

November 12, 2009

Re "Pilot's stunt focuses the FAA on safety questions," Nov. 8

The Federal Aviation Administration's website claims that its "continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world."

In November 2008, film production company executive and convicted felon David Riggs purposely endangered hundreds of people at Santa Monica Pier with his aeronautical stunts. How does the FAA taking away his pilot's license on a temporary basis provide safety for any of us?

The FAA's own procedural stunts in recent years have been equally dangerous to Santa Monica and Los Angeles residents. First, it has refused to allow the city of Santa Monica to install runway safety areas at Santa Monica Airport. Second, the FAA has spent taxpayers' dollars fighting the city's ban on fast-landing private jets, which pose a threat to neighborhoods around the airport. The Santa Monica City Council passed the ban unanimously. It would protect residents while affecting only a small percentage of planes that use the airport.

Zina Josephs

Santa Monica


It's important to point out that Riggs' alleged behavior does not reflect specifically on experimental exhibition aircraft. By your description, Riggs flagrantly breached several FAA regulations governing safe operation of any fixed-wing aircraft.

Illegal behavior of one grossly irresponsible individual should not adversely reflect upon hundreds of experimental exhibition aircraft and their pilots who operate safely and legally.

Should one fool driving

a vintage car in a high-

speed police chase cause extra scrutiny of all vintage cars?

Michael J. Kobb


Los Angeles Times Articles