Seattle Man Dead After Stealing and Crashing Plane, Investigation Underway
Seattle Man Dead After Stealing and Crashing Plane, Investigation Underway
A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport
12 August, 2018, 13:00
But Ed Troyer, who also works at the sheriff´s office, described him as "suicidal".
After flying around an unpredictable path, the plane crashed at a nearby island.
Ruling out a terror link, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor noted that "most terrorists don't do loops over the water".
The plane was stolen around 8:00 pm (0300 GMT Saturday) and crashed 90 minutes later, officials said.
The aircraft took off and began manoeuvering over Puget Sound. Just a broken guy. Just a broken guy. Never knew he was fighting a battle non of us knew about.
The pilot marvels at the beauty of the Olympics.
The pilot, identified as "Rich", comes across as excitable, confused, and even apologetic in a conversation with the control tower. "Can this thing do a black flip thing?". "He was always trying to be faster, but, yet, he still worked in a safe manner".
"Governor Jay Inslee thanked the Air National Guard from Washington and OR for scrambling jets and said in a statement "there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight's tragic incident".
Ground control advises him to wait. NORAD launched two F-15C fighter jets from Portland International Airport.
The air controller tells him there is a runway just off to his right "in about a mile [1.6km]", referring to a military airfield at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Eckrote said the plane went down in an area covered with heavy brush and trees. They attempted to divert the aircraft toward the Pacific Ocean while maintaining radio communication with controllers and Russell.
There were no reports of injuries on the ground, he said, except presumably the pilot.
Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer of Horizon Air, a sister carrier of Alaska Airlines, said that at about 8pm an employee of the airline undertook an unauthorised take-off of a Q400 twin-engine turboprop airplane.
The Bombardier Q400 turboprop is designed for short-distance flights and can seat 76 passengers, Alaska Air said.
"In this season of life, we enjoy exploring as much as possible, whether its a day (or so) trip to one of Alaska Airline's destinations or visiting a new area of Washington", he wrote.
"We have multiple 911 calls, over 30, reporting a fireball", Troyer said.
The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known, but the F-15s did not bring the plane down, Eckrote said. We have police boats, we have everybody responding.
"Oh, Richard", said the controller, "We're not going to worry or think about that. We are sending resources and people".
All departures and arrivals were halted at the busy airport for some time but have since resumed. The jets were not involved in the crash, it said.
Gary Howell, a Wasilla High track and field coach, said he remembered Russell as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player. It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this.
"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".
He then said: "I wouldn't know how to land - I wasn't really planning on landing it". He knew something was off, he said.
He then saw the two jets come back around toward him, but not the plane. Near the end of the video, you can also see the aftermath of the crash.
'It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie, ' he told the newspaper. 'The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low'.
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Officials at the Sea-Tac Airport say an airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff in Washington state and has crashed. There was no indication that the incident was an act of terror, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said on Twitter.
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