Economy

Horizon Air worker accused of stealing, crashing plane had Alaska ties

Horizon Air worker accused of stealing, crashing plane had Alaska ties

He described him as a 29-year-old man who might have mental health problems. They described the man as "suicidal" and said he "acted alone". There were some stunts performed apparently by the plane over the sound and then he crashed into Ketron Island a small, not very highly populated wooded island, just off shore here. "They probably got anti-aircraft!" Pacific time, officials said.

In a statement, the airport said: "An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound".

They believe there were no passengers on board and no structures hit when the plane crashed into Ketron Island on Friday night. "He was definitely one of the harder working people on the ramps". Southers is director of homegrown violent extremism studies at the University of Southern California.

Federal authorities on Saturday were seeking to learn what drove an airline worker to steal an empty airplane from Seattle's airport in a security scare that caused the scrambling of US fighter jets and ended when the plane crashed. An airline employee had stolen a 78-seat turboprop airliner and conducted a unsafe joyride, complete with loops and other stunts. Russell said he was having a "blast" and had learned to fly from video games. The Horizon airplane was followed by two F15 jets which attempted to escort the stolen aircraft back to Sea-Tac.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning that President Donald Trump was "monitoring the situation". Trump is now at his New Jersey golf club, and Sanders commended the response effort for its "swift action" and public safety protection. She commended the response effort for its "swift action" and public safety protection. The man's condition after the crash wasn't immediately known.

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Airline officials said the ground service agent had a certification to tow aircraft, which results in a higher security clearance than other ground agents. "Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed", Seattle-Tacoma International Airport tweeted.

The air traffic controller and a pilot tried to convince the man to attempt to land the plane - and to not attempt the aerobatic maneuvers - but were not successful.

He told them, "Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there".

"Rich" explains that he had put some fuel in the plane "to go check out the Olympics", but then anxious that he was low on gasoline.

"That means I lift a lot of bags, like a lot of bags, so many bags", he says, adding, "it allows me to do some pretty cool things, too".

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"I had 30 to 40 folks involved overnight, out interviewing co-workers and family members, and I just want everybody to understand that this is going to take a little bit of time", Tabb said.

Horizon Air Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen said the company believes the man who stole the plane was a Horizon employee.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said the man, who has been identified as Richard Russell, was 29 years old and "suicidal". There were no passengers aboard.

At a news conference in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, officials from Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said they still working closely with authorities as they investigated what happened.

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