Authorities Probe How 'Suicidal' Employee Could Steal Plane

Authorities Probe How 'Suicidal' Employee Could Steal Plane

Scott Adams, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire and Rescue, said about 10:30 p.m. the crash had started a grass fire, and that two fire engines, a medic unit and a command unit were at the site, along with firefighting staff from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

He told air traffic controllers: "Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there". "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this", Russell said.

"I want to thank the Air National Guard from Washington and OR for scrambling jets to keep Washingtonians safe", Inslee tweeted, adding: "Those pilots are trained for moments like tonight and showed they are ready and capable".

A recording of a live air-traffic control feed obtained by Seattle Times has since revealed the conversation between air traffic controllers and a man referred to as "Rich" and "Richard" before the crash.

The plane eventually crashed on sparsely populated Ketron Island, starting a fire in the woods and killing Russell.

Two F-15s fighter jets pursued the plane but were not involved in the crash, local TV station KIRO7 reported.

He said he was working with FBI and Military while the sheriff's department said they were working to conduct a background investigation on the man.

Authorities described him as being suicidal, adding that the incident is not related to terrorism.

According to the mercurynews.com, witnesses reported seeing the Bombardier Q400, a turboprop aircraft, perform a loop-the-loop and almost slam into Chambers Bay, all while being pursued by fighter jets.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor later told reporters it appeared to be "a joyride gone terribly wrong", according to ABC7 News, adding "most terrorists don't do loops over the water".

It is unclear how he attained the skills to do loops in the aircraft before crashing about an hour after taking off, authorities said.

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Ms Morse's mother, who lives close to the area where the plane went down, said her whole house shook.

"Stolen horizon airplane crashed into Ketron island".

An Alaska Airlines Dash 8 Q400 was stolen from its hanger at Seattle Tacoma Airport early in the evening of August 10, and plane took off without permission of tower.

An ground service agent at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is dead after stealing and crashing a commercial airliner on Friday.

Eckrote, the NTSB investigator, said the investigation will focus on the man who stole the plane to determine his motives.

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

The family of an airline employee who stole a passenger plane before crashing it in Seattle has made a statement to United States media, describing Richard "Bebo" Russell as a "kind and gentle" man.

Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines. "I would hope it is for a guy like me", he said.

"It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", one witness said.

Experts say the crash exposed alarming gaps in airport security, and is likely to prompt a major review industry security measures.

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