On the evening of Friday August 10th, 2018, Horizon Air Ground Service Agent Richard Russell approached an unattended Horizon Bombardier Q400 parked in a cargo and maintenance area of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After using equipment to rotate the plane toward the runway, Russell boarded and started the engines. Soon he was taxiing despite the protests of Sea-Tac Air Traffic Control.
The Seattle plane thief’s flight struck a chord with me. Although I caught the story just a few short hours after Russell ended his life, I deliberately avoided listening to the recordings of his conversation with ATC.
The following week, a couple of coworkers decided to listen to the audio. Walking out of our shared office would have looked strange, so I sat and listened to the Seattle plane thief’s final hour while filing my flight packets.