Stolen plane crash: ILM Director says too early to predict security changes

Pressed to land at Joint Base Lewis McChord, the pilot nervously joked about the fighter jets chasing his aircraft "They probably got anti-aircraft!" Russell passed all the screening requirements for his tasks as a ground service agent, which range from handling baggage to towing airplanes, but he acknowledged during his in-flight radio exchanges with controllers that he had "a few screws loose". Sea-Tac has added security guards in the cargo area where the plane was parked when Russell stole it, she said.

A commercial airline was hijacked from Seattle-Tacoma Airport by an airline employee and pursued by two F-15 fighter jets before crashing on Friday.

The 29-year-old man, who has not been named, was suicidal and appeared to have acted alone, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, which said the employee was believed to have been killed in the crash.

"It's highly improbable, but not impossible, that he never had a lick of flying except other than in a virtual world", Todd said. The person made off with the aircraft at about 8 p.m. Friday evening, Tilden said.

Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the US West.

The Plane was a Turboprop Q400 model capable of carrying 76 passengers. The National Transportation Safety Board referred questions to the FBI, which has released limited information about the investigation.

You may remember police arrested a man they say was preparing to steal an airplane from the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport. Ketron Island is a sparsely populated island 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the airport.

Erroll Southers says Saturday that the unidentified man represents one of the greatest threats to aviation by being an insider cleared to have access to aircraft.

"We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted.

Then the passenger plane pilot "did a complete loop".

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard, along with all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees", Horizon Air Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen said in a video posted on Twitter.

"It is highly fragmented", she said of the plane. "The wings are off, the fuselage is, I think, kind of positioned upside down".

Investigators have recovered and are analyzing the flight data recorder and components of the cockpit voice recorder.

While in flight, Russell told air traffic controllers: "I played video games before, so I know what I'm doing a little bit".

"It was unfathomable. It was something out of a movie", he told the newspaper.

  • Anthony Vega