Authorities Probe How 'Suicidal' Employee Could Steal Plane

Allegedly Suicidal Man Crash Lands Stolen Aircraft

"If you're going to access the aircraft. you make sure that you check with someone else, and that someone else (will confirm) that. you have the right authority to get onto that aircraft". "Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed", the airport wrote.

The 29-year-old man, who has not been named, was suicidal and appeared to have acted alone, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, which said the employee was believed to have been killed in the crash.

Relatives and co-workers identified the man as Richard Russell of Sumner, Washington, who also went by the name Beebo.

Earlier in the evening, officials at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport said an Alaska Airlines plane had been stolen and later crashed.

The Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplane is designed for shorter-distance flights and can seat 76 passengers, Alaska Air said on its website. There were no passengers aboard.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air officials said they were still working closely with authorities to investigate what happened.

They believe there were no passengers on board and no structures hit when the plane crashed into Ketron Island on Friday night.

A witness on the ground, Bryan Sichley, said he was at Chambers Bay in Tacoma and saw a plane nose dive after being chased by two fighter jets.

The hijacking was later described as a suicide by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, according to a report by The Washington Post.

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"Last night's event is going to push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can ensure this does not happen again at Alaska Air Group or at any other airline".

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor described the incident at a press conference as a "joyride gone terribly wrong".

Communication between the hijacker and Air Traffic Control- "I've got a lot of people that care about me". An air traffic controller called him "Rich", and tried to convince him to land the airplane. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this", he said.

"Got a few screws loose, I guess", Russell is heard saying in the recording.

About 130 miles south of Sea-Tac, two F-15C jets of 142nd Fighter Wing, on alert round-the-clock to defend an area between Northern California and the San Juan Islands, took off.

The White House said Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report Twitter says InfoWars account will remain online despite violating its rules Melania Trump family immigration lawyer praises so-called "chain migration" MORE, now staying at his Bedminster, New Jersey resort, had been briefed on the situation. Trump is now at his New Jersey golf club, and Sanders commended the response effort for its "swift action" and public safety protection. The tweet said the crash may have been caused by the mechanic 'doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills'. Video showed flames amidst trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry.

They may have cost him his life, but an airline employee's acrobatics in an empty propeller plane he stole in Seattle drew words of wonder from the head of the company where he'd worked. "We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted.

The FBI is investigating the freakish incident in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board and local law enforcement.

Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland air base. He didn't hear the crash, but saw smoke.

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