They said the family is moving forward with the difficult talk of processing our grief and asked for space to mourn. Russells social media accounts have become funeral guestbooks, digitized for the world. [20], Russell's family released a statement on August 11, stating they were "stunned and heartbroken" and "devastated by the events". To be honest with you, commercial aircraft are complex machines. I dont need that much help; Ive played some video games before, he told the controllers trying to help him. I dont want to hurt no one. Radio banter in between, ending with the intercept audio for Rock 41 and Rock 42. AIRBOYD #SeaTac #ChambersBay #Q400 #Horizon. I just want you to whisper sweet nothings into my ear, said Rich, who claimed he could fly the plane because he played video games. Oh, a purple one! Russell exclaimed. [12] His flight pattern was also shared online, with Twitter[13] user @RMaons writing, "SKY KING 2.0 ON FLIGHT RADAR, AIRCRAFT IS CALLED KING AIR LOOOL" (shown below, right). He then flew around the area for about an hour, speaking at times with air traffic controllers and apologizing to loved ones for what he was about to do. In 2018, a Horizon Air employee, Richard Russell, stole a plane with no prior flying experience, making international headlines. Listening to the audio recordings, I feel nothing but sadness for Rich, for the man who stole that plane at #SeaTac and committed suicide. He is flying around the airport, he does not know how to land it. [46][47], N449QX, the aircraft involved in the incident, pictured 2 months before the crash. [45] The aircraft was worth $30million, all of which was paid under the company's insurance policy "with no deductibles. Then, about an hour after he took off, Russell plunged into sparsely populated Ketron Island 25 miles southwest of the airport, sparking an intense fire. Holy smokes, Ive got to stop looking at the fuel because its going down quick.. The perpetrator, 29-year-old Richard Russell, was a Horizon Air ground service agent with no piloting experience. Perhaps the least we should do in the wake of such tragedies is to reflect upon the words attributed to Philo of Alexandria: Be kind, for everyone you meet is in the midst of a great struggle.. When I heard that Mr. Russells aircraft had gone down, I thought, The poor bastard. And then I thought, How many tens of thousands of people are out there who are just like him?, Larry Walters and Rich Russell were people just like us. "Got a few screws loose, I guess. Never knew he was fighting a battle non of us knew about. Just kind of soaring around, he told air traffic control. After Russell performed an unauthorized takeoff, two McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle . "[43] Some co-workers said that Russell had probably trained himself to fly using amateur flight simulation software. He left no children. [20], Videos and radio transmissions of the event were followed online, immediately sparking a meme dubbing Russell the "Sky King". On August 10th, 2018, a service agent for Horizon Air named Richard "Beebo" Russell used his position to steal a Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 airliner from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. In July 2022, video was released that showed Russells last moments going through security, taking off in the plane, and communicating with air traffic control. The libs are trying to solve the housing crisis in deep blue areas by having teachers live with their students. In 1993, Lawnchair Larry Walters was named an At-Risk Survivor in the annual Darwin Awards. Although he didnt have a pilots license, Russell knew how to work the plane from his experience as an airport employee, the FBI previously said. I dont need that much help; Ive played some video games before, he told the controllers trying to help him. Im going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. In this season of life we enjoy exploring as much as possible, whether its a day (or so) trip to one of Alaska Airlines destinations, or visiting a new area of Washington, Russell wrote about himself and his wife online. To the consternation of friends gathered to witness the launch, he quickly ascended out of sight and climbed to an altitude of 16,000 feet. As the voice recordings show, Beebos intent was not to harm anyone and he was right in saying that there are so many people who love him.. Tower tracking flight and in contact. Russell was well-liked by his co-workers, according to The Seattle Times. [19] Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden announced on the same day that the airline was coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI, and the National Transportation Safety Board, and was "working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened". On Instagram, Hannah Russell posted recent photos with Rich. It had first flown in 2012 and was delivered new to Horizon Air in the same year. Saw two fighter jets fly overhead then smoke, McKenna Brown (@mckenna_brown) August 11, 2018, A man named Ben Schaechter wrote on Twitter, Halfway down the runway on Alaska airlines out of Seattle and the pilot slams on the brakes and shares we must go back to the gate. The hardest part of stealing a commercial plane from an international airport was already over for Richard Russell. A former coworker, Rick Christenson, told The Seattle Times: He was a quiet guy. When I arrived, he was in the kitchen, in the middle of his Sunday morning ritual of cleaning his cleaning supplies. #seatac., A woman named Robanne Stading wrote on Twitter, #seatac airport is on a ground halt because evidently a mechanic is flying an unauthorized flightseeing trip around the mtns. At another point, he says he's going to try to "do a barrel roll." Monteith also recalled that Russell had been in the cockpit of an Embraer 175 with him, and that Russell asked him about his "flows, which is the preflight preparation I do for takeoff. Who Is The 'Sky King' Richard Russell And How Did He Earn His Title? But there appears to be no manifesto, no digital trail of warning signs from Russell. Airport (@flySEA) August 11, 2018. [5], On September 3rd, 2022, it was reported that a 10-year Tupelo Aviation employee, Cory Wayne Patterson, stole a twin-engine plane from the Tupelo Regional Airport. Hey, I found myself in a predicament. Periodically, his voice cut into the dispatches. Then he took an Alaska Airlines plane. Ive played some video games before.. Authorities said they dont think he had a pilots license and arent sure how he was able to take off, much less perform complicated tricks in the air like a barrel roll. At one point, Russell told a controller he had played a lot of video games. Hey all! He gradually drifted into controlled airspace near Los Angeles International Airport, causing some alarm both to the authorities and to the pilots of at least two commercial jets. Although he was born in Key West, Fla. he moved to Wasilla when he was 7, according to a website he made in 2017. ?, One woman wrote on Twitter, he has stolen a big Horizon turbo prop. Unclear if passengers are on board. Im going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. Russell said to dispatchers, You think if I can land this successfully, Alaska will give me a job as a pilot? and the Air Traffic Control tower said, I think they will give you a job doing anything if you pull this off. He replied, according to some sites, Yeah right! Many saw Russell as a man suffering from depression and sympathized with him. On August 11th, 2018, a post about the plane crash was submitted to 4chan's /pol/ board,[1] where an anonymous user replied "Sky King?" [33], On November 9, the FBI stated that it had completed its investigation. According to suicide prevention expert, Dr. Christine Moutier, middle-aged White men account for 70% of deaths from suicide each year. #SeaTac @king5 #ketron #dupont #andersonisland, Katreichel (@Katreichelart) August 11, 2018, The Sheriffs Department also wrote: Told F 15s made it within a few minutes of theft of plane. People like me dont do things like that. This dives into the psychology and reason of why he Hi-jacked a plane and then crashed into his death. He jokes around with the air traffic controller as he tries to explain to Russell how to land the plane, although as the conversation goes on that doesn't seem to be his intention, even saying, "I wasn't really planning on landing it." The Sky King of Sea-Tac Airport. No one else is thought to have been injured or killed, and the fighter jets did not fire . Updated Nov 30, 2022 at 4:37pm. [34][35] The FBI stated, "Interviews with work colleagues, friends, and familyand review of text messages exchanged with Russell during the incidentdid not identify any information that would suggest the theft of the aircraft was related to wider criminal activity or terrorist ideology. I suspect that most of the time they want to hear some kind of post-mortem diagnosis: He was a paranoid schizophrenic. He carried with him a CB radio, sandwiches, beer, and a camera. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Ive got a lot of people that care about me. As the voice recording shows, Beebos intent was not to harm anyone and he was right in saying that there are so many people who loved him.. It seemed like he was well liked by the other workers. He was a quiet and well-liked young man who was active in his church. Sep 09, 2022 at 02:47PM EDT Audio captured emotional conversations between the man, named as Rich, and air traffic controllers trying to help him land safely. The story, despite seeming near-mythic, is true. The airline confirmed that an unauthorized take-off occurred. Our first date, he kind of cornered me into it, Hannah Russell said to the site. Richard Russell was a suicidal airport ground services worker who stole an airplane from Sea-Tac International Airport. Happy birthday to the man who keeps me laughing and always improves the view ? she wrote with one in 2017. At one point, Rich asked for help in getting the cabin depressurized, complaining he was getting lightheaded. And in recordings of conversations with air traffic controllers, Russell joked and laughed, though he was at times contemplative and raw. He had psychotic depression. The sketch on Richard Russells WordPress page. And part of his job was to drive the tractor that backed the aircraft into position for takeoff. Although official accounts other than through live aviation audio were hard to come by at first, many passengers took to social media to report that pilots were telling them a man had stolen a plane. As Melville noted, We are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending., Be wary of simple explanations of any human behavior, and of simple solutions for complex problems. Beck said the aerial maneuvers were "incredible" and that he "did not know how [Russell] achieved the experience that he did. He had broken up with his girlfriend of 15 years and was having trouble finding steady work. Damnit Andrew, peoples lives are at stake here, Rich said at one point in the audio, which you can listen to later in this article.
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