SEATTLE – The FBI has completed its investigation into an incident where a man stole a Horizon Airplan from Sea-Tac…
The FBI has completed its investigation into an incident where a man stole a Horizon Airplan from Sea-Tac Airport and took it on a wild 75-minute flight before crashing on a small island in Pierce County, Washington .
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The investigation concluded that 28-year-old Richard Russell from Sumner, a staff member at Horizon Mark Staff at Sea-Tac, intentionally crashed the planet on Ketron Island, Aug. 10. Russell was killed in the crash and the Pierce County Medical Examining Office decided how death was suicide.
“I think I’ll try to make a roll roll, and if I’m fine, I’ll go down and name it one night,” said Russell from the cockpit according to a recording of his conversation with a flight leader.
“If the pilot wanted to avoid the impact with the ground, he had the time and energy to pull the column back, raise his nose and start a climb,” the FBI report said.
The report also said that agents never found a clear motivation for theft.
The investigation showed that Russell did not make any phone calls from the stolen plane that addressed a motive and the cockpit voice recorder did not capture any sound that was not already broadcast on the radio.
KIRO TV talked with Russell’s friend and former employee Robert Reeves, who said Russell was a hard worker who loved flying, but he admitted that Russell was unhappy with his salary.
“He was really stressed about the financial situation he was in. He has worked at Horizon longer than I did, and he still did not do $ 15 an hour,” Reeves said.
During the flight, he declared the airplane “he was not planning to land” the aircraft, and he described himself as “just a broken guy”. “
Although investigators received information on Russell’s background, possible stressors and personal lives, no element gave a clear motivation for Russell’s actions,” the report reported.
“Interviews with colleagues, friends and family – and review of text messages exchanged with Russell during the event – did not identify any information that would suggest theft of aircraft was related to wider criminal activity or terrorist ideology,” reported the report.
The FBI found that Russell was familiar with the checklist to launch the plane and searched the web for flight instruction videos. ents say they did not find any evidence that he had any pilot training, formal or informal, and that he acted alone.
“An extensive investigation activity did not reveal any additional topics involved in planning or performing unauthorized flight.”