Monday, 20 August, 2018

Seattle plane crash: Family of man who crashed stolen plane issue statement

A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport
Russell Knight | 12 August, 2018, 18:43

The plane was taken by a 29-year-old Sumner man about 8 p.m. and crashed on Ketron Island, near Steilacoom, about 90 minutes later, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

"Got a few screws loose, I guess", Russell is heard saying in the recording.

The family Richard Russell, 29, a ground service agent, otherwise known as Beebo, delivered a statement to the media on Saturday evening, via their friend Mike Matthews. "We are devastated by these events and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now", the family said.

Russell worked for Horizon Air - a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines - for over three years.

Mathews said Russell was a faithful and loving husband, friend, and son, and he didn't believe Russell's intent was to hurt anyone with his actions. "Pilots kept the plane out of harm's way and people on ground safe", the sheriff said on Twitter.

At another point, the joyriding pilot tells the tower that he's played lots of video games and can handle the plane well.

He remembered him as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player.

"He was a nice guy", Kaelin said. "People need to realize that flying an aircraft is not hard, flying it correctly is the hard part".

F-15s did not bring the plane down.

.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400 doing large loops and other unsafe manoeuvres as the sun set on Puget Sound. The Q400 is a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

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An air traffic controller called the man "Rich", and tried to convince the man to land the airplane.

Video taken by a bystander showed the airplane making a loop, then flying low over a body of water.

Moments later Russell crashed the plane onto the sparsely-populated Ketron Island. No one outside the plane was injured, officials said.

Authorities in the Seattle area have confirmed the crash of a stolen commercial airline plane Friday night. Not long before the crash, a pilot who had been helping controllers advise Russell appears to mention the manoeuvre.

"This is not a terrorist incident".

"He might have been talking to himself in the cockpit", so the voice recorder may provide additional information that wasn't recorded in radio traffic, said Debra Eckrote, regional chief for the National Transportation Safety Board. "This is a really big deal". Russell, who has not been officially identified, was believed to be the only person onboard and was presumably killed, according to officials from Alaska Airlines. This is aviation in America. There is not an ignition key like a auto.

"It is highly fragmented", she said of the plane. Russell used a push-back tractor to rotate the plane 180 degrees before getting in and taxiing the aircraft.

"The FBI continues to work with our state, local, and federal partners to gather a complete picture of what transpired with tonight's unauthorized Horizon aircraft takeoff and crash", the agency said.

The FBI's special agent in charge of the Seattle office, Jay S. Tabb, said up to 40 FBI agents were working the case overnight.

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