'Suicidal Male' Steals Plane And Crashes After 'Unauthorized Takeoff' From Sea-Tac

A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport

A "suicidal" airline employee at Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport stole an empty plane Friday night for a freaky joyride, performing risky air maneuvers under close pursuit by F-15 fighter jets before crashing into an island.

It added Russell was a "faithful husband, a loving son and a good friend". "He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him".

The suspect was identified as a 29-year-old airline mechanic and local resident who "acted alone", Troyer added, confirming that there were "no passengers on the plane" when it crashed.

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

Federal Bureau of Investigation said it does not consider the incident terror-related as authorities try to piece together how a security scare of that magnitude occurred at major airport.

The air traffic control staffer called him Rich, but authorities haven't named the man.

Witness reports and videos posted on social media showed the plane making a loop, then flying low over a body of water, trailed by at least one fighter jet.

"We believe it (the plane) was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and no other passengers or crew were on board", she said.

He passed a series of background checks to gain his position, as he did not have any criminal convictions.

Flights were grounded with some passengers tweeting that their plane stopped abruptly on the runway.

Only minutes after the plane made its weird, unauthorized takeoff around 8 p.m., the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled two F-15s out of Portland to intercept it.

The FBI Seattle field office on Friday said early signs do not point toward terrorism.

"I don't know, man", the pilot answers.

Later Russell said: "I've got a lot of people that care about me".

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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. "Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess".

The recordings were of radio communication between Russell and air traffic controllers. There is now a background check being done on him to see if a possible motive can be found. It did not elaborate.

"Oh man", Rich immediately responded, "Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there. I met Hannah in Coos Bay, Oregon in 2010 while we were both going to school", the about me section says.

Richard then says he feels like one of the engines "is going out or something". "A couple of the turns, it looked like what we call in basic flight training a 'coordinated turn, ' meaning that he not only used the yoke ... but you also coordinate with the rudders and you do the turns".

"Nah, I mean, I don't need that much help".

Russell repeatedly says he would do a roll. Not long before the crash, a pilot who had been helping controllers advise Russell appears to mention the manoeuvre.

"Congratulations, you did it", the control tower tells "Rich", according to audio that aired on CNN.

The man responds: "Awwww-right ... dammit". I wouldn't know those things.

"I don't want to hurt no one".

"I hope this doesn't ruin your day".

The plane was trailed by F15 fighter jets, and it eventually crashed on sparsely populated Ketron Island in Puget Sound.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said the man who stole the plane is a mechanic at the airport.

A neighbor in the Seattle area described Russell's family to The Seattle Times "as the closest, most stable she's ever known".

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