Plane crash kills two Lincoln residents

Cause remains under investigation
By: Stephanie Dumm Gold Country News Service
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LINCOLN -- An ultra light plane crashed Monday night just outside of the Lincoln Regional Airport, killing two people. Police and fire personnel responded to the scene, where Michael Scott Gorden, 44, and Tara Lynn Riggins, 37, were pronounced dead Monday night. Both Gorden and Riggins were from Lincoln. Gorden was the registered owner of the plane, a Rans Coyotte II. “The plane had departed from Lincoln for a local pleasure flight and the pilot was planning to return to Lincoln,” said Ian Gregor, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, on Tuesday. Gorden was believed to be piloting the plane at the time of the crash, according to Gregor. Witnesses who saw the crash said the plane made a slight turn at 500 feet near Aviation Boulevard, losing altitude and then taking a nosedive into the earth, according to Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. The cause of the crash is unknown and the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, which Whitt said could take months. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector was on the scene Tuesday morning, surveying the aircraft, the area around it and anything that could point to a cause, according to Whitt. The inspector would not comment to the media. The plane was taken Tuesday morning from the crash site to a salvage yard in Sacramento, where Gregor said the FAA and NTSB will “thoroughly examine it in the coming weeks.” Whitt said both parties will inspect the plane to see if there’s “anything that may point to a cause,” including the fuel tank and plane parts. "It’s a real tragedy that took the lives of two people, and hopefully they can find out what happened and prevent it from happening again," Whitt said. Neither the Lincoln Police Department nor the Fire Department would speculate on the cause of the crash. Reach Stephanie Dumm at