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China Daily Website

US stunt pilot's body found

Updated: 2013-09-20 23:35
By WU YONG in Shenyang and ZHAO XINYING in Beijing ( China Daily)

The body of US stunt pilot David Riggs, whose aircraft crashed into a lake in northeast China on Tuesday, was found on Friday.

Riggs had been missing since the Lancier aircraft, with himself and a Chinese interpreter on board, crashed into Caihu Lake near Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, at about 1 pm on Tuesday during a trial flight.

US stunt pilot's body found

A plane from Sweden takes part in a stunt at the Faku International Aviation Show in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, on Friday. WANG YONG /FOR CHINA DAILY

His body was found at the bottom of the 6-meter-deep lake after a three-day search.

The female translator was rescued from the lake, but died after being sent to a hospital.

Zhang Fang, head of the rescue team of more than 500 people, said the muddy water in the lake, the low water temperature and the wide area involved added to searchers’ difficulties.

Under those circumstances, both had a very slim chance of survival, Zhang said.

The US Consulate in Shenyang could not be reached for comment.

Wang Hongbo, director of the security office for the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s Northeast Regional Administration, said the cause of the accident is still being investigated.

Wang said wreckage from the plane has been collected, but it will take time to examine it and determine the cause of the accident.

It may be hard to find the cause, because there was no black box on the plane, Wang added.

Riggs was in China for the second Faku International Aviation Show. His plane, assembled at a local airport, had completed three successful trial flights before the accident.

The aircraft, which was too small to be equipped with a black box, belonged to the MACH 1 aerobatic team from the United States.

The team, which had three aircraft including Riggs’, refused to comment on his death.

According to his website, Riggs was a stunt pilot, movie producer and world aviation speed record holder in the US.

The website also says his flying performances are frequently seen in Hollywood movies and television programs, including the films Jarhead, Casino Royale and Iron Man and more than three dozen TV productions for networks around the world.

The aviation show, staged from Friday to Sunday, is being held in Faku county, Liaoning province.

About 200 pilots from more than 20 countries including Britain, the US, Germany, France, Sweden, Hungary, Lithuania and South Africa are taking part in the event, which is expected to attract 400,000 visitors.

Xinhua and Dong Xuehao contributed to this story.




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