Horizon Airlines Ground Crew Employee Steals and Crashes Plane

Horizon Airlines Employee A Horizon airlines employee, identified as Richard Russell, stole a plane in Washington state and crashed in Puget Sound after being chased by F-15 fighter jets late Friday.

Now there are questions linger as to how he was able to do it and what security measures are in place to respond to these types of situations.

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The Federal Aviation Administration reported that stolen plane was a Bombardier Q-400

Mr. Russell had worked for Horizon for three and a half years, and was responsible for handling luggage and cargo and for towing aircraft. He had worked his shift on Friday before he took off from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at around 7:30 p.m. PT (10:30 p.m. ET) on Friday and crashed about an hour later, officials said.

Sources identified the employee as Richard Russell and officials on Saturday expressed condolences to his family and loved ones.

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The employee had worked for Horizon Airlines for more than three years, and had undergone multiple criminal background checks, said Brad Tilden, the CEO of Alaska Air Group, in a Saturday press conference. Employees face background checks that go back 10 years, which they are required to renew every two years. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said they were not aware of anything popping up during this employee’s background checks. Full NCBC story here


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