Authorities probe how airline employee could steal plane

BREAKING NEWS: Horizon Air Q400 Hijacked from Seattle

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.

"There is the runway just off to your right side in about a mile", the controller told him.

In Russell's final moments captured by partial recordings of his conversations with air traffic controllers that were published online by Broadcastify.com, Russell spoke calmly and said he was sorry to disappoint people who cared about him and described himself as a "broken guy". "The situation was not their fault but I think they could have given a little more guidance or announced to the plane this is what's going on instead of leaving us all to fend for ourselves", said Leddy.

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".

He flew it for an hour, followed by two armed F-15 jets from OR that the military scrambled, before he crashed.

The 29-year-old Horizon Air ground service agent - the only person aboard - died, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said, without further identifying him.

Sheriff Paul A. Pastor said at the press conference that there was no sign that it was a terrorist attack.

The Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee from Seattle-Tacoma International airport has crashed in Washington's South Puget Sound.

Airport employee Richard Russell shockingly stole an Alaska Airlines plane at the Seattle-Tacoma airport on August 10 and took it for a weird joyride by himself before it crashed.

But Schiavo said those security procedures are not always observed, especially for smaller aircraft like the 76-seat Bombardier Q400 hijacked Friday night. Initial information had said he was an airline mechanic. Ketron Island is a sparsely populated island 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the airport. Just a broken guy.

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"I mean, I would hope it is, for a guy like me".

The plane was taken from a maintenance position and was not scheduled for a passenger flight, said Gary Beck, Horizon Air's president and chief executive officer.

Leah Morse, who filmed the jet flying overhead, told news agency Reuters she felt in her "gut something was wrong" after spotting the plane. I wouldn't know those things.

"He had access legitimately" to the plane said Mike Ehl, director of aviation operations at the airport in the U.S. state of Washington, adding that "no security violations were committed". "In terms of improvements that we might make as a company and as an industry to make this very safe industry even safer in the future, it's too early to say".

The FBI is involved in the investigation, Troyer said.

Investigators on Saturday will try to retrieve the plane's flight data recorder and its cockpit voice recorder.

"The setup in aviation in America is we secure the airfield and then we have the mindset that we have employees that are credentialed and authorized to be there", Tilden said, adding that the airline was working with authorities to investigate.

An FBI official said they were in touch with the deceased employee's family last night after the crash.

"It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", he told the newspaper.

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