Seattle plane crash: Family of man who crashed stolen plane issue statement

A Horizon Q400

A Horizon Q400

The sheriff's department said "preliminary" information was that the plane's pilot was "a mechanic from unknown airlines" who "was doing stunts in air" or lacked flying skills.

PCSD officials also identified the person involved as a 29-year-old male who lives in Pierce County. He is reported to be a Pierce County resident.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor described the incident as a "joyride gone terribly wrong", adding that the pilot "did something foolish and may well have paid with his life".

Eckrote, the NTSB investigator, said the investigation will focus on the man who stole the plane to determine his motives.

As heard in the recording, an air traffic control staffer works with the man to find a place to land. Just a broken guy. At one point, Russell says he is a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose". "Never knew it until now".

Beck marvelled at the amateur piloting.

"Hey, pilot guy", Rich asks.

Russell repeatedly says he would do a roll. "I've played some video games before", he said.

Ground control advises him to wait. It is unclear if the man survived the crash in Puget Sound. Moments later they heard an explosion.

The wooded area is hard to access, and because there are no fire engines on the island, everything has to get to there via ferry, Adams said.

Later the man said: "I've got a lot of people that care about me". He expected "a whole slew of engines that will be coming through at the ferry terminal in a few minutes". Officials said there were no victims on the ground.

The family of an airline employee who stole a passenger plane before crashing it in Seattle has made a statement to USA media, describing Richard "Bebo" Russell as a "kind and gentle" man.

Smoke rises from the site on Ketron Island in Washington state, US, where a Horizon Air turboprop plane crashed Friday after it was stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport as seen from the air, Saturday near Steilacoom, Wash. No passengers or crew appeared to be aboard the 76-seat plane. "We don't know how he learned to do that". No structures on the ground were damaged by the plane, which sparked a small wildfire.

Officials from Alaska Airlines said that it's still too early to speculate what exactly happened but that the flight was unauthorized. "Uploading and downloading the plane", said Halbert. We have police boats, we have everybody responding. Two F-15 jets were scrambled in response to the stolen plane from the Oregon Air National Guard in Portland, Oregon. Confirming this, the airport said, "No passengers were onboard during the incident and normal operations have resumed at the airfield".

Airline officials said the ground service agent had a certification to tow aircraft, which results in a higher security clearance than other ground agents.

Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour.

John Waldron told CNN: "I started to capture video, just because I thought it was, kind of weird".

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