CHILLING CCTV has uncovered the moment an airport baggage handler stole a plane before intentionally crashing it on a remote island.
Richard Russell, 29, can be seen going through security at Seattle Airport in a black T-shirt with “The Sky’s No Limit” printed on the back.
The Port of Seattle has released video surveillance both inside the terminal and outside the tarmac following the shocking August 2018 incident.
More than five hours after passing through security, Russell is seen walking outside to the airport’s cargo area.
He uses a tow vehicle to push the Alaska Airlines propeller plane onto a runway while Russell’s unsuspecting associates walk nearby.
Air traffic control attempted to contact the plane after sensing something was wrong – but they received no response.
Russell is seen opening the cabin door of the Q400 turboprop, jumping into the cockpit and taking off.
He brazenly tells the control tower, “Seattle Ground Horizon Guy. Take off soon. It’s going crazy.
“Hey, I was in an awkward position. I’m in the air right now. And I’m just going to fly around.”
Air traffic controllers can be heard asking Russell to make a safe landing – but the airport employee continues to joke with them.
He jokes, “Hey, do you think if I land this successfully, Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?”
The air traffic controllers try to direct Russell to a nearby airstrip where he can safely drop the plane.
“In about a mile, the runway is just to your right, see that?” said the traffic manager.
But Russell replied, “Oh, these guys are going to try to beat me up if I try to land there… I think I might mess something up there too. I wouldn’t want to do that. Oh, they probably have anti-aircraft guns .”
The traffic controller replied, “You don’t have any of that stuff, we’re just trying to find you a safe place to land.”
While in the sky, Russell can be heard telling air traffic control he’s “just a broken guy” and saying he’s preparing for “life in prison”.
According to the Seattle Times, he said, “I’ve got a lot of people who care about me. They will be disappointed to hear I did this.
“I want to apologize to each and every one of you. Just a broken guy with a few screws loose I guess. I never really knew until now.”
Just minutes after the plane took off, two F-15 fighter jets descended from Portland.
The jets failed to intercept the plane. Russell intentionally crashed the plane on a remote island 30 miles away, killing himself about 90 minutes after takeoff.
Witnesses said they saw Russell perform barrel rolls and loops while the military jets kept him away from densely populated areas.
At the time of the crash, Sheriff Paul Pastor described the crash as “a joyride gone horribly wrong”.
According to the cockpit audio, Russell insisted he didn’t need help flying the plane because he had been playing video games.
“Although investigators received information about Russell’s background, potential stressors and personal life, no element provided a clear motivation for Russell’s actions,” an FBI report said, MailOnline reports.
The FBI ruled his death a suicide.
Russell moved to Seattle with his wife in 2015, where he began working at the airport for Alaska Airlines.
His main duties as a baggage handler were loading and unloading baggage, directing planes to takeoff, and de-icing planes in winter.
On the day of the incident, witness Royal King was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying plane being pursued by the military jets.
He told the Seattle Times: “It was unfathomable, it was like something out of a movie.
“The smoke stayed. You could still hear the F-15s flying low.
“This is someone’s son or husband or daughter. This is a tragedy.”
Flights to and from Seattle were briefly suspended at the time of the hijacking, while planes on the runway were ordered to remain in position.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues addressed in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5747511/chilling-cctv-baggage-handler-steals-plane-crashing-suicide/ Chilling CCTV catches baggage handler STEALING plane before crashing jet on remote island in horror suicide