Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Man who stole plane was kind, funny, family and former colleague say

Man who stole plane was kind, funny, family and former colleague say

"An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound".

The airline tells The Associated Press that the plane was a Horizon Air Q400 and it believed no passengers were on board. "We are giving those investigators our full support and cooperation", Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement on August 11.

The incident is not thought to be terrorism-related.

"Okay this insane. A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower", tweeted Ben Schaechter, a passenger on an aircraft that was taxiing to take off before the incident.

Mr Russell's family said in the statement that the recordings showed he wasn't planning to harm others.

"Male is confirmed a suicidal male".

People at the Sacramento International Airport share their reactions Saturday night, after a 29 -year-old man was killed when a plane he stole crashed.

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Mr Matthews continued: "We are devastated by these events and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together, without him, we would be hopeless".

Authorities said the man was a 3.5-year Horizon employee and had clearance to be among aircraft.

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard, along with all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees", Horizon Air Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen said in a video posted on Twitter.

An air traffic controller tried to convince him to land the plane.

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

Ketron Island is a sparsely populated island 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the airport.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but the two F-15 fighter jets which were scrambled following the incident, did not bring the plane down, Eckrote said.

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"This is a complete shock to us", the family said in a statement they released Saturday night. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane.

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

Law enforcement officials stand at a staging area, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, at the ferry terminal in Steilacoom, Wash., near where a Coast Guard spokeswoman said the agency was responding to a report of a smoke plume and possible plane crash.

"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.

Russell had worked a shift Friday when he took a plane parked in a maintenance area of the Seattle-Tacoma airport, said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group, which owns Horizon Air.

Authorities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the incident, with the FBI leading the investigation.

Morse added that her mother, who lived closer to the crash site, texted about eight minutes later to say that her whole house shook.

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