Economy

Family of USA man presumed dead after crashing stolen plane left 'devastated'

Family of USA man presumed dead after crashing stolen plane left 'devastated'”

The man, who was called Rich by air traffic control personnel, is an Alaska Air Horizon employee who allegedly stole a Horizon Air Q400, shutting down the airport temporarily.

"This is probably jail time for life, huh?" he later asks, according to a recording provided by the Seattle Times.

The man, described by police as a 29-year-old mechanic, says that he has a lot of people that care about him.

In a brief statement one day after the shocking incident, Russell's family said they were in "devastated".

John Waldron, who took dramatic video of the stolen plane flying in a loop, told CNN that he was out for an evening stroll when he saw the two fighter jets following the turboprop airplane.

Yesterday's crash happened because Mr Russell was "doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills", the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said.

At a news conference, officials from Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said that they were working with authorities.

An airline employee allegedly hijacked a plane at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night right before it crashed into the Puget Sound in Washington.

The Horizon Air Q400 plane of Alaska Airlines was taken by an employee from the airport which resulted in interruption of air traffic at the airport. While Russell was in the air performing hard maneuvers in the air Amy Leddy says her Alaska Airlines flight and the flights of hundreds of other passengers were delayed.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor described the incident as a "joyride gone terribly wrong", adding that the pilot "did something foolish and may well have paid with his life". "We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted. The plane was "highly fragmented and the wings are off", she said. "I've played some video games before".

On a SoundCloud site, Russell interviews fellow ground service agents, asking them questions that include: "What was one of your best travel experiences using your flight benefits?"

Mr Southers said the man could have caused mass destruction. They also said he didn't have a pilot's license, and that it is unclear how he attained the skills to do loops in the aircraft before crashing about an hour after taking off. "Never really knew it until now".

Harrowing audio revealed the pilot joking with the controllers who begged him to land the 76-seater plane before it nosedived and burst into a fireball 25 miles away.

"We're lucky it went down on a very unpopulated island", Eckrote said.

Investigators expect they will be able to recover both the cockpit voice recorder and the event data recorder from the plane.

"No security violations were committed", said Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden. F-15 fighter jets were sent from Portland to control the situation and, if necessary to intercept it.

"There were some maneuvers that were done that were incredible maneuvers with the aircraft", Gary Beck, CEO of Horizon Air, said of the flight that ended with a crash onto a small island.

"I'm just amazed that one person affected so many other people", said Leddy. He said he didn't see the crash but saw smoke. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane.



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