SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

FBI: Man who stole and crashed commercial airplane acted alone

The airline worker who stole a passenger plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in August and died ...

Posted: Nov 10, 2018 7:34 AM
Updated: Nov 10, 2018 7:34 AM

The airline worker who stole a passenger plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in August and died after crashing it did so intentionally and acted alone, according to an FBI investigation into the incident released Friday.

Richard Russell, who had a wide-ranging discussion with air traffic control while flying the plane he had stolen, piloted the aircraft into a "final decent to the ground" that was intentional according to the FBI. He did not have any assistance during the incident, the investigation found.

Accidents

Accidents, disasters and safety

Aircraft

Aircraft accidents

Aviation and aerospace industry

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Commercial and general aviation aircraft

Continents and regions

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government organizations - US

North America

Northwestern United States

Seattle

The Americas

United States

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

Washington (State)

Accident investigations

Air transportation

Air transportation safety

Air travel incidents

Investigations

Safety issues and practices

Transportation and warehousing

Travel and tourism

Travel safety and security

"If the pilot had wanted to avoid impact with the ground, he had time and energy to pull the column back, raise the nose, and initiate a climb," the report said.

"Extensive investigative activity failed to reveal any additional subject(s) involved in the planning or execution of the unauthorized flight," it said.

Russell, a 28-year-old baggage handler for Horizon Air, stole an empty passenger plane that was parked in a maintenance area and was not scheduled for flight.

After taking off, he told air traffic control he was "just a broken guy."

"I've got a lot of people that care about me, and it's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this," Russell says. "I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now."

The FBI said in a statement that it will not pursue charges over the incident "given the death of Russell and his lack of co- conspirators."

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Kokomo
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 41°
Rensselaer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 33°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 38°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events