|Alaska Horizon Airlines Bombardier (Dash 8) Q400 twin turboprop 76 seat short haul aircraft|
An allegedly “suicidal” airline ground service agent, a 29-year-old male, later named as Richard 'Beebo' Russell stole an empty parked uup Alaska Horizon Airlines Bombardier (Dash 8) Q400 twin turboprop 76 seat short haul aircraft, on Friday evening and unchallenged took off from Sea-Tac (Seattle Tacoma) International Airport Washington State USA. Mr Russell was security cleared, in uniform type overalls and authorised to move aircraft (tow and pushbacks).
As the only person on the plane, the thief calmly chatting to air traffic control (who urged him to land, but he refused) then looped the Canadian manufactured plane and attempted some 'stunts'. He was chased then escorted, by two scrambled military F15 jets, before crashing some 50 minutes later near a small island known as Ketron Island in the Puget Sound on Friday night, officials said.
Had Mr Russell endangered communities below his erratic flight path or deliberately set the plane to crash on populated areas, the F15s' would have had full authority to use all measures to avert such a disaster, this would probably include using the F15 wingtip to tip/upend the Dash 8 wing so the aircraft would be diverted in a different direction say out to sea, and then if all else fails shoot it down.