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Baggage Handler Steals Plane From Airport Before Deliberately Crashing It In Newly Released Surveillance Footage

Baggage Handler Steals Plane From Airport Before Deliberately Crashing It In Newly Released Surveillance Footage

Back in 2018 a baggage handler stole and crashed a plane, new surveillance footage sheds some light on how it happened.

Newly released surveillance footage has shed some light on just how a baggage handler was able to steal a plane from an airport before deliberately crashing it.

Four years ago 29-year-old baggage handler Richard Russell stole a plane from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and flew it up into the air.

Now, footage showing how he carried out his actions has helped outline just how he was able to steal the plane, and provide more information on what actually happened.

You can watch it here – warning, contains scenes some may find upsetting:

Surveillance footage shows Russell passing through airport security with a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words, 'The Sky's No Limit'.

Five hours after making it through security, he can be seen heading to the cargo section of the airport where baggage handlers work.

The man was seen commandeering a vehicle to drag a plane onto the runway, with nobody stopping him.

Russell then got inside the plane itself to complete pre-flight checks and prepared the plane for tale-off, rolling the aircraft towards the runway.

Air traffic control only became suspicious when the Alaska Air plane he was in control of cut in line for take-off.

The 29-year-old baggage handler was able to steal the plane and take-off in it.
Port of Seattle

The 29-year-old told air traffic control he was 'about to take off', saying that 'it's gonna be crazy', he then went on to say he was 'in a predicament' and was 'just gonna soar around'. the Independent reports.

Staff on the ground pleaded with the man to try and land the plane safely and attempted to direct him to available runways, but he just joked whether he'd get a job as a pilot if he could land the plane.

Further attempts to convince Russell to try and land the plane were unsuccessful as he said he 'might mess something up there' and that he 'wouldn't want to do that'.

The baggage handler said he didn't need help flying as he'd 'played some video games before' and asked if he could 'do a backflip' in the plane.

Richard Russell took off in a stolen plane and later deliberately crashed it.
Port of Seattle

Russell also said what he was doing was 'going to disappoint' people who cared about him.

In his conversations with air traffic control he described himself as 'just a broken guy' and said he had 'a few screws loose' but 'never really knew it till now'.

Russell's flight lasted 73 minutes and ended when he deliberately crashed the plane into the sparsely populated Ketron Island, he did not survive the crash.

According to the FBI, Russell did not have a pilot's licence but knew how to fly a plane from working at the airport.

Investigators ultimately decided that he had intentionally crashed the plane by diving it into the island, judging that he could have pulled the aircraft out of the dive if he had wanted to.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Port of Seattle

Topics: US News