Expert: We Owe Airplane Thief A Debt Of Gratitude

posted by Chuck/Kelly - 

29 year-old Richard Russell was an employee at Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport with unlimited access to the planes housed there. Russell was in uniform, had proper credentials and clearance to be in secure aircraft areas. 

Russell worked as a Horizon air ground service agent for nearly 4 years. His job included directing aircraft for takeoff and gate approach, handling baggage and de-icing planes.

On Friday, Russell stole a 76-sear Horizon Air Turboprop from a maintenance area. He then used a pushback tractor to turn the plan and take out without authorization at 7:32pm.

Russell did not have a pilot's license and the chief executive of Horizon Air Industries, Gary Beck, did not know how he learned to fly a plane. 

Russell flew the turbopop around the area for 75 minutes performing stunts and making turns before crashing into Ketron Island. 

Chuck and Kelly spoke with iHeart Radio Aviation Analyst Jay Ratliff about the security risk this incident showed. 

Chuck and Kelly

Chuck and Kelly

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