Seattle officials have released a video showing how an employee of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was able to steal an aeroplane without getting noticed by airport security guards. A theft that eventually led to the man’s death.
The incident, which took place in August 2018, was captured on CCTV footage and shows 29-year-old Richard Russell dressed in a t-shirt proclaiming, “The Sky’s No Limit”, walking through airport security. As Russell was an employee no alarm was raised. Just a few hours later Russell gained access to an unboarded Alaska Airlines’ Q400 Turboprop aeroplane and can be seen slowly moving the plane into position for take-off.
At some point during his flight, Russell was in communication with air-traffic control and those tapes were also made public. In them, Russell reveals to an air-traffic controller that he had taken the plane to go watch the Olympics, but his knowledge of flying was limited and he was running out of gas quickly.
When the controller later told Russell that they were trying to find a location for him to land, Russell said: “Yeah not quite ready to bring it down just yet.”, then later asked: “This is probably jail time for life, huh?”. Around 90 minutes after Russell had initially taken the plane, he crashed not far from the airport on Ketron Island and the plane started an intense fire in the wooded area. Russell died on the scene and the crash was later ruled a suicide by the FBI.
Check out the incident below.