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Stolen plane in Seattle crash prompts airport security concerns
12 August 2018, 02:56 | Austin Hogan
A"suicidal airline ground service agent who stole an empty Alaska Airlines plane has crashed
The fighter planes intercepted the Q400 turboprop near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, NORAD said.
In partial recordings of his conversations with air traffic controllers that were published online by Broadcastify.com, the man said he was sorry to disappoint people who cared about him and described himself as a "broken guy".
He went through various background checks to get clearance to be in the secured area, authorities said.
While in the air, Russell joked for almost 20 minutes with the air traffic control agent, but admitted he had "a few screws loose" and called himself "just a broken guy".
"The guy didn't know how to fly or intentionally did stunts over Anderson Island, and crashed into Ketron Island", Troyer said.
The plane crashed minutes after flying away from the airport, with two USAF F-15 jets on pursuit.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air officials said they were still working closely with authorities to investigate what happened.
A passenger plane from Alaska Airlines was stolen from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday at around 8 PM.
Russell worked for Horizon Airlines, a sister carrier of Alaska Airlines [ALKAIR.UL], as a ground service agent who helped baggage handlers and was part of Horizon's tow team, which moved planes around on the tarmac.
Per CNN, the man also had some freaky and heartbreaking radio correspondence from the cockpit before the 76-seat Horizon Air turboprop went down.
Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a news conference in Steilacoom.that the pilot was "probably deceased". "Uploading and downloading the plane", said Halbert. "So, I started to capture video, just because I thought it was kind of freaky", he told CNN.
"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".
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"It may seem hard for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man", the statement said.
The family statement said they would not release any further statement. "Never really knew it, until now", Richard Russell said at one point.
Fortunately, the only death in the crash was the unnamed joyrider, who still has not yet been named, although air-traffic controllers call him "Rich" during their exchanges.
"Oh, Richard", the controller responds. It crashed on the south of Ketron Island, near a military facility. Ground service agents' job duties are to load and unload bags, direct aircraft for takeoff and de-ice planes in the winter.
Investigators expect they will be able to recover both the cockpit voice recorder and the event data recorder from the plane.
"Safety is our number one goal", Alaska Airlines chief executive Brad Tilden said. "I was kinda hoping that was gonna be it. Ya know?"
On Saturday morning, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told media that President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is now "monitoring the situation" in Seattle.
"I lift a lot of bags".
Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by two F-15s.
San Francisco: A young, "suicidal" airport worker who stole an empty plane from Seattle-Tacoma Airport and took it on an hour-long flight before crashing did not commit any security violations, officials said Saturday.
One colleague said, "People did not see him as a threat".
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