Plane crashes after airline employee’s solo ‘unauthorized takeoff’ from Seattle airport

12 August, 2018, 09:55 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Airliner takes off without authorization at Sea-Tac crashes in Puget Sound	 	 	 			A Horizon Q400 | Source Alaska Airlines

According to the unverified Twitter profile of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the plane was stolen by a mechanic from an unknown airline company, based on preliminary information.

The "suicidal" man who commandeered and crashed a plane without passengers from a U.S. airport in Washington state seemed excited, confused, and at times calm while talking with the air traffic control tower.

Currently, the FBI has taken over the investigation of the incident and Alaska Air has stated that they are working with authorities and their own safety teams to "thoroughly understand the incident".

'An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. "Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed". "Witnesses said a. plane is going down". Just a broken guy. "They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did". I would like to apologise to each and every one of them. Got a few screws loose, I guess. "I never really knew it until now".

Ed Troyer, of the sheriff's office, described Russell as "suicidal". It did not elaborate.

The man seemed to understand that his actions would have dire consequences. "This is probably jail time for life, huh?"

He said: "I hope this doesn't ruin your day".

"Oh, Richard", said the controller, "We're not going to worry or think about that".

"Could you start a left turn and we'll take you down to the SE, please", the air traffic controller then asked.

"I don't need that much help".

During the doomed flight he spoke to air traffic control who pleaded with Russell to land.

It is not believed that the man had any assistance in his theft, but authorities are still looking into how exactly he was able to gain control of the airplane. I don't know! I don't want to.

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The sparsely populated island remained close to ferry traffic Saturday morning.

On 10 August, the 29-year-old mechanic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stole a Horizon Air 76-seat passenger airplane. The jets were armed but did not open fire, North American Aerospace Defence Command spokesman Cameron Hillier said by phone. No structures on the ground were damaged, Alaska Airlines said.

Troyer said F-15 aircraft took off out of Portland, Oregon, were in the air "within a few minutes", and the pilots kept "people on the ground safe".

The wooded area is hard to access, and because there are no fire engines on the island, everything has to get to there via ferry, Adams said.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft near the airport. It's a small island with about two dozen residents.

"I thought they were practicing for an air show", he said. The plane was "highly fragmented and the wings are off", she said.

It wasn't clear what training, if any, the man had as a pilot. At the Alaska Airlines terminal, it was a hushed Friday night.

"This is a complete shock to us", Mr Matthews said.

The aircraft was stolen at about 8 p.m. Alaska Airlines said it was in a "maintenance position" and not scheduled for a passenger flight.

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard, along with all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees", the airline said in a video statement posted to Twitter early Saturday.

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

"As the voice recordings show Bebo's intention was not to harm anyone".

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