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It’s been four years since the incident yet this case still continues to baffle everyone. How can a Horizon employee with no flying experience, pull off an airplane heist and do a smooth takeoff afterward?
Richard Russell was wearing a “The Sky’s No Limit” shirt as he went through employee security before his duty. It almost felt like a sign in hindsight. Everything seemed normal with his work but that all stopped when he spotted the plane alone. Russell kept going back and forth, unsure if he should go through with his plan.
He finally decided to just go for it and he did so with fellow workers in the vicinity not suspecting anything suspicious. Russell breezed through the preflight checks and got the plane running. His first words to the ATC were:
“Seattle ground Horizon guy. About to take off. It’s gonna be crazy.”
Russell intentionally crashed on Ketron Island and his death was ruled as suicide. He flew for about an hour and 15 minutes – which he attributed to his time playing video games.