Employee steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes it shortly
12 August, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Eric Barnett
"We're lucky it went down on a very unpopulated island", Eckrote said. They attempted to divert the aircraft toward the Pacific Ocean while maintaining radio communication with controllers and Russell.
"Nah, I mean, I don't need that much help. I just want you to whisper sweet nothings into my ear", said Rich, who claimed he could fly the plane because he played video games.
In addition to disrupting air traffic control, the incident also caused alarm among locals, many of whom recorded the incident.
The man responds: "Awwww-right ... dammit". "You want me to ride the brakes in the cockpit" or 'Hey, what are you doing?' Nobody did that", said Kelly.
He added: "I'm sorry about this, I hope it doesn't ruin your day [.]".
A witness on the ground, Bryan Sichley, said he was at Chambers Bay in University Place and saw a plane nose dive after being chased by two fighter jets. Based on video from KIRO 7, the crash has started a forest fire on the island.
One colleague said, "People did not see him as a threat".
But concern about the mental state of aviation workers has grown in recent years, analyst say, particularly after the 2015 crash of Germanwings 9525 flight in France, when a pilot deliberately steered his plane into a mountainside, killing 144 passengers and five crew members.
Mr Waldron said the plane at its lowest point was no more than 100ft (30.5m) above the water.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the fighter pilots for keeping residents safe.
"Our first date, he kind of cornered me into it", Hannah Russell said to the site.
The incident has also raised questions about the physical security of the planes.
Military jets had been scrambled to chase the plane, according to the Times. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them.
Instead, the F-15 pilots and air traffic controllers tried to guide the plane west, away from populated areas, said Hillier.
"The greatest threat we have to aviation is the insider threat", Erroll Southers, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and transportation security expert, toldThe Associated Press.
The FBI is looking into the 29-year-old's background and try to determine his motive, she said.
"My husband and I are recently former Boeing employees, and we were wondering why a jet was near the passenger airplane", she said. There were no other people on board, and the man piloting the plane has not been recovered.
A ground service agent's tasks don't involve touching planes' controls, CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo said.
"The person who stole it was either doing it on a lark, or was suicidal", Pastor said, adding there was no indication anyone else was on the plane.
They would not comment on Russell's mental health. According to a statement from Alaska, the sole man onboard, the one operating the plane, was an employee for Horizon Air.
It crashed about an hour after it was stolen and did not hit any ground structures.
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Russell took off in a Bombardier Q400 commercial plane around 8 p.m. on Friday and proceeded to fly in loops over the water. At times, he reveled in the flight, voicing amazement at the sight of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier from the air.
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Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the man "did something foolish and may well have paid with his life", according to the AP. The man, who was a ground agent at Sea-Tac Airport and not a pilot, eventually crashed on Ketron Island and died.
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