Transcript for New details on airline employee who took off in empty aircraft
Rob, thank you. W to new dails abohe line employee who stole a plfrom Seattle Ta ait and performed some high-fing stuntsefore dyin in a fiery crash. He's been identified 29-year-richard Ruell. Officials Y he did N have a T's licensbut he D hav clearance to be in a secure area of airport. The FBI leading the investatc's clayto Sandell in seattlwith WHA learning this mog. Clayton, good morning. Reporter: Gmorning. 'Se FBI is I charge here this mng. Agen Ta deep dive into this rogue lot's backound and motivesrying to fig howrew was Abo pull this off.this morni wing more rogue pil a Joa stolen airliner. Oh, my god,d. Is he okay?epr: His alarming arrow battics in an empty turbo prop, Alaskalines q-400, what E s over he Reporter: At the controls, 29-year-old airlines employee Richard Russell, a member the airlinesund ewby fighteret ready to shoot him down lllking him down. All right, richlet's and that aire nd not huranody on the ground. I don't know,, I don't know I don't wa to. I was kind of hoping that was going to bit. Reporter: The fliended in a fiery crash. Authorities say Russell ssed mult backgrounch work at horizon but did not have pilonse. Commercial aircraft are complex Mach, so I don't know how he achieved the perience the did. Reporter: Russell was ied. Worked for horizon three and a half Y, posting out his B on youtu. 'Mservice agt. That means I lift a lot of bags. Repteeighbor elabeth jibson spoke to Russell just S fatal flit and Sae seemed wl adju He wasn't a bad person. He's a loving, kind person, very nice. Sad and shock Repter: But ahorities say ssell was suicidal. Old controllers he was a broken I've golot of people care about me and it's going to disapp them that I D I like to apologize to each every onef them. I'm just a broken guy, got a few sc loose I gss. Reportehe ones whcared about him the most, his family, roken, issuing Thi statent overnit. We are stun heartbken. He was a warm, compassionate man. He wasand, a Ng son, Ana good fend. Airline officials Y Russell wa allowed to be around planes as part of his job but say they will be taking a look at whether secure procedureneed to be ch whit. Right, cltol in attle for us, thank you so much. We wantbring in RIR marineorelnd ABC news contributterd, a former fig pilot. Thank so much for joining us. Were learnin a L as employee. He hadarance, head access plane, but could the airlines add additional layers of security prevent a Amr like this from pus all the buttons, starting the aiand takingff? Whit, obviouslyska and hozon and I ink all air ar look at the LE who hav cess to tir airplanes and he was a goo GU H was a great employee. There awigns at tip anybo off that he would do something like this. In the past you woulve had to have neen flying less have en in a simulator. U can go out and buy for 0 line a very high fidelity simutor for your home coer.ou look at some ofhose maneuvers, this guyad neverflown airplane and has actually making somell nice,safe,eryrofessional looking kinds arrow an mos. It's quite remarkable.really is, U of course the crh in the E the. Noed flags tough. Ficials call him suicidal. What can you tell us about the lth screeninat thesemgo throughand since they'ranted thisind of access T should that screening be more rigorous? Rd to think T at what level do you ask people to go through mental screen this guys a grounha threw bonanes. Took care airplane he tedound. 'S not the kind of person that U W would that kind of scrutiny for their mental health. The every year go through ysical, a night physical, and they're asked about their mental status. If they want tde it, if ey wa to hide suicidal though they can do it. We've se at leasfourinstances in the past four years, mozambiquonesia. Malaysialight 370. You remembergerman wings airplane that flew into the side ternal andarried O their E plots. D to stop you don't UT Thankfully nobolse killed S crash. Steve ganyard in Washington, thank you so much.wee it. Still a ofwered estions. Iw about you two T for me I can't get this story out of mad. It is so ring to think about what he S ugh to get plane, knowing it was a suicide miion. Hwas able tpull it of and those tricks and stunts wasble to in the air too before it all came to a fiery finish.we'll defitely stay top of that.
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