Two F-15Cs from the 142nd Fighter Wing from the Portland Air National Guard Base in OR were scrambled on Friday evening after a "suicidal" airline employee absconded in a Bombardier Q-400 twin-turboprop airliner out of Seattle International Airport before crashing the aircraft on a small island. At some airports, including Sea-Tac, they are also subject to physical screenings the way passengers are.
Authorities initially said the man was a mechanic but Alaska Airlines later said he was an employee who helps direct aircraft to gates and de-ice planes.
"He's ground support so they have access to aircrafts", she said of the man.
He used a vehicle known as a pushback tractor to move the empty turboprop plane and took off without authorization at 7:32 p.m. Friday, officials said. The Pierce County Sheriff department informed the public that the crash was caused by a suicide.
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Officials at Sea-Tac International Airport say an Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee and has crashed in Washington state. An air traffic controller called the man "Rich", and tried to convince the man to land the airplane.
Richard Russell took an Alaska Air from Seattle Tacoma Airport on Friday evening and flew it without authorisation.
"Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there".
When asked if it scared her that the protocols were not able to prevent the incident, Gregoire said, "It's not fear, it's how do we get better". "NORAD fighters did not fire upon the aircraft". They referenced the recordings of him talking to air traffic controllers and said and that it's clear Russell, who went by the nickname "Beebo, " didn't intend to harm anyone and "he was right in saying that there are so many people who loved him". The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats. Investigators are trying to find how he got on the plane. The FBI is now investigating, while Alaska Air is cooperating with authorities and their own safety team to make sense of exactly what went down. "I was hoping that was going to be it, ya know". He crashed about one hour and 10 minutes later in a wooded area of Ketron Island in south Puget Sound.
"The setup in aviation in America is we secure the airfield and then we have the mindset that we have employees that are credentialed and authorized to be there", Tilden said, adding that the airline was working with authorities to investigate.