N627 (Photo via Rick Bertrand)

N627 (c/n 002)
Blythe, California, USA
07 September 2009
Photo: © via Rick Bertrand

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Steinar Saevdal
[Editor & Webmaster]




Rick L. Bertrand (1953-2014)

It is with great sadness we have received reports that Rick L. Bertrand, owner of Riviera N627 (#002), passed away on October 18, 2014.  Here are some extracts from the obituary that was published in "The Desert Sun":

Rick Bertrand, age 61, was taken home to the Lord on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. He was born here in the Desert and remained here all of his life. He attended UCLA and graduated in 1974. He then went on to receive his Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine. He started his chiropractic practice in 1978 in Cathedral City and was still practicing at the time of his death. He had a devout following and he was incredibly skilled in his profession. Rick had many passions in addition to his family and career. He was an outdoor enthusiast and excelled in many water sports: boating, fishing, water skiing, and scuba diving. Rick was an airplane pilot for most of his life. He received his pilot license when he was only 15 years old. He loved muscle cars and was an exceptional mechanic. He was also a Master Mason and was an accomplished trombone player. He loved life to the fullest. He is survived by his wife, Linda; his two children, Cole and Shelby; his sister Darcy; and nephew Daniel Demott. Rick was well known and liked throughout the Desert and his death will be greatly felt by many of his patients and friends. His passing will leave an aching void in the lives of the people who loved him dearly, especially his family. 

On Nov. 8, 2014, there was a memorial service for Rick and his mother, Frances Bertrand at Desert Chapel in Palm Springs.


N918NS (Photo: Matthias Falkenberg)

Riviera N918NS For Sale!

Owner of of Riviera #0104, Dr. Jürgen Langhoff, sadly passed away on 01 June 2014, before seeing his dream airplane fly - an airplane he spent 20 years restoring to "better than new" condition.  This unique Riviera amphibian will be offered for sale soon.



Riviera N627 Flies!

It is with great joy Rick Bertrand reports that he finally flew N627 (MSN 002) today, Friday 04 September 2009.  According to his report he flew from Palm Springs to Thermal/Cochran this morning with no squaks.  The return trip very smooth and exciting.  - Eight years 1000 hours of work and well worth it, he writes.  Congratulations, Rick!  We look forward to your photos and more details about the restoration!



N95DR Crashed

It is with great sadness it is reported that SIAI Marchetti FN-333 Riviera N95DR (MSN 0110) crashed on Sunday, May 20, 2007.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash which occurred in the 1700 block of North Benton Road in Minden, Nevada, just after 3:15 p.m.  The pilot, who was killed instantly, has been identified as Egon Fritz, 64, of Germany.

Early reports suggest that the amphibian lost engine power and that the pilot was forced to make an off-airport emergency landing.  An eyewitness who witnessed the accident from approximately 100 yards away from the crash site, and who was the first on the scene after impact, said that the pilot was avoiding a home and people in the yard when he struck the roof of a garage, skidded off the roof before the amphibian struck the ground and overturned.

From a Nevada Appeal news report:

"I heard a plane that was way too loud. I looked up and it was right there above my porch. As I looked up it went over the garage and there was a huge plume of dust," said Merry Anderson.

The single engine float plane lost power, skidded off the roof of Anderson's home, struck the ground twice and overturned. It left two holes in Anderson's garage, but caused only slight damage.

The exact cause of the crash isn't known and is under investigation by the FAA.

Douglas Sheriff's Capt. Mike Biaggini said Fritz had no relatives in the area, but had friends in Northridge, California.

He said the pilot was killed instantly.

"If he'd had 18-24 more inches of altitude, he would have missed the roof and there's a chance he would have been able to land the plane in the field. But it's like tripping someone who is walking. It put the nose right down in the ground," Biaggini said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration report, the aircraft was a SIAI-Marchette FN-333, an amphibian plane.

All Riviera enthusiasts are deeply saddened by this tragic accident, and express their deepest condolences to the pilot's family and friends.  More information on this accident will be published here when available.

When owned by late Ken Shea, N95DR was a frequent visitor to the EAA Oshkosh and the Clear Lake splash-ins.  This was probably the best restored Riviera in the World.

Update 2007-05-23: New information is that Mr. Fritz recently had bought the Riviera from the estate of Kennon S. Shea, and that he was planning to take the aircraft to Europe, presumably to Germany.  According to US Registry, N95DR was registered to Aircraft Guaranty Title Corp. Trustee; Houston, Texas on 2007-03-20.  The sale was handled by a company in Minden, Nevada.



VH-SAV  (c/n 0101) Australia

From Down Under, Riviera owner Charles W. Riley reports that his SIAI Marchetti Riviera VH-SAV (c/n 0101) has been completely dismantled for an in-depth restoration and repaint.  The Riviera is undamaged and has no corrosion.  The IO-470P engine and propeller have been overhauled and are now back to zero time.  The total flying time for c/n 0101 is just 500 hrs.



N5HL (c/n 0102)

In January 2005 Mr. Jeff Coggins visited a little airstrip called "Airpark East" (1F7) in Rockwell, Texas, and found Rivera N5HL in one of the hangars!  The Riviera seems to be under restoration. She is up on stands and there is still some work to be done on left wing and the landing gear assembly. However, it looks like the Riviera has not been worked on for months.  According to FAA Registry N5HL is owned by Mr. Robert Weese of Quinlan, Texas.  Any additional information will be most welcome.



Riviera N627 Update

It seems that the number of Riviera amphibians flying will be increasing in the months to come!  Owner of Riviera N627 (# 002), Mr. Rick L. Bertrand, reports from California that the restoration is progressing well.  Rick inherited the Riviera from his late father, Mr. Robert S. Bertrand, last year.  However, N627 has not flown for some years and needed a restoration...  N627 has a TTAF 1000 hrs, the IO-470P engine has a TTSMOH of 250 hrs.

Rick reports that the left fuel tank needs replacement, he had the landing gear actuator piston and bracket built from scratch and it is now ready for installation.  Brakes from a Navion airplane will also be installed together with new piping.  All O-rings in actuators will be replaced.  Rick plans to run the engine with right fuel tank soon.  Rick hopes that N627 will be ready for taxi testing later this summer.   We look forward to Rick's next report!



Riviera Restoration!

Owner of FN-333 Riviera MSN 0104 (N918NS), Dr. J. Langhoff (Germany), reports that his Riviera now is only 4 - 6 weeks from making her first flight after a ten year restoration!  Dr. Langhoff purchased the Riviera in 1994.  All Riviera fans around the World wish that Dr. Langhoff's Riviera will have a safe and successful first test flight after the restoration!

Dr. Langhoff will get back with photos and more information soon!



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