Horizon Air Q400 Hijacked from Seattle

Andrew Cummings
August 14, 2018

But the Federal Bureau of Investigation is waiting for confirmation from the local medical examiner's office.

The freaky incident involving a worker who authorities said was suicidal points to one of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel: airline or airport employees causing mayhem. The Sheriff's Department described Russell as suicidal but did not elaborate.

Investigators are piecing together how the airline ground agent working his regular shift stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane, took off Friday night from Sea-Tac and fatally crashed into the a small island after being chased by military jets that were quickly scrambled.

Even without a pilot's license, authorities say he pulled off hair-raising maneuvers in the air, some of which were caught in amateur video taken in Washington State.

Cox also questioned the effectiveness of having more guards monitoring parked planes. Analysis will begin midweek.

Russell is presumed to have died in the crash.


The 29-year old commented on the scenery, and told the air traffic control staff he hoped the incident wouldn't "ruin" their day.

"This is a complete shock to us", the family said.

"As the voice recordings show, Beebo's intent was not to harm anyone", the family said.

You may remember police arrested a man they say was preparing to steal an airplane from the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport.

For more than an hour, the stolen plane soared and flipped in the skies above Seattle while controllers on the ground had no idea who they were dealing with.

He remembered him as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player.


"The kid I knew wouldn't do that", he said. "He was definitely one of the harder working people on the ramps".

The unauthorized takeoff of a Horizon Q400 plane now has SeaTac airport and the rest of the country talking about security gaps when it comes to employees.

Two military F-15C aircraft were scrambled from Portland, Oregon, and pursued the plane, with Russell's motive unclear and his ability to inflict damage on the ground. No one outside the plane was injured, officials said. The man's condition after the crash wasn't immediately known.

The incident is not thought to be terrorism-related.

"This is going to be a major learning event for the industry", CNN aviation analyst Justin Green said.

"This is too big a deal".


- Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) August 11, 2018Stolen horizon airplane crashed into Ketron island.

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