Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Economy | By

Airline employee steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes and dies

Airline employee steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes and dies

"Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess".

Federal authorities were searching on Saturday for what drove an airline worker to steal an empty airplane from Seattle's airport and crashing it into a nearby sparsely populated island, sparking a security scare that saw United States fighter jets scrambled.

In the chilling recording, he revealed he was a "broken man" and apologised to the air traffic controller. I was kinda hoping that was going to be it.

Authorities said Russell was suicidal.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested that a mechanic had stolen the aircraft.

But he later anxious he was running low, saying the fuel had burned "quite a bit faster than I expected".

At a news conference, officials from Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said that they were working with authorities. The aircraft were trying to direct the stolen twin-engine plane toward the Pacific Ocean when it crashed on Ketron Island, the news release said. It crashed on the south of Ketron Island, near a military facility.

An airline mechanic stole an airplane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday (Aug 10) and was chased by two USA military jets before crashing on a nearby sparsely populated island, the local sheriff said. The plane crashed, killing Rich Russell. "They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience he did", the CEO said.

As two fighter pilots flew behind and closed in on the Q400, Richard crash-landed the plane in a cloud of smoke. "That's the one thing we had in common", said Halbert.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400, a turboprop plane that seats 76 people, doing large loops and other risky stunts as the sun set on Puget Sound in Washington state.

He then said: "I wouldn't know how to land - I wasn't really planning on landing it".


Later Russell said: "I've got a lot of people that care about me".

Erroll Southers, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and transportation security expert, told AP "the greatest threat we have to aviation is the insider threat". I would like to apologize to each and every one of them.

Kethleen Reichel said she watched the planes pass by for about two minutes.

"My husband and I are recently former Boeing employees, and we were wondering why a jet was near the passenger airplane", she said. It may seem hard for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man.

"Congratulations, you did it", the control tower tells him, according to an audio feed aired on CNN. A thorough check of FAA databases showed no evidence Russell had any level of pilot license. We believe there are no passengers on board.

"The person who stole it was either doing it on a lark, or was suicidal", Pastor said, adding there was no indication anyone else was on the plane.

The family of the airport worker suspected of stealing a plane from Seattle's main airport before crashing into an island have expressed their shock and grief.

"Safety is our number one goal", Alaska Airlines chief executive Brad Tilden said.

No passengers were on board and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump was briefed and the White House praised authorities´ quick response to the crisis.

Note: If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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