Family of man who stole, crashed plane in 'complete shock'

Alaska Airlines planes are seen at Seattle Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac Wash. Oct. 30 2013

"If this pilot, instead of doing what he ended up doing, had wanted to crash the airplane into downtown Seattle, the fighter (jets) were not going to be able to stop him; air traffic control was not going to stop him", Green said.

In partial recordings of Russell's conversations with air traffic controllers that were published online by Broadcastify.com, he said he was sorry to disappoint people who cared about him and described himself as a "broken guy". "They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did", Beck said.

Referring to audio recordings of Russell talking to air traffic control during his hour-long flight, the statement said his "intent was not to harm anyone".

Video footage on social media showed a large plane flying above the Seattle area with a F-15 fighter jet following it.

The sheriff´s office said the F-15s arrived minutes after the plane was stolen and kept the aircraft "out of harm´s way and people on the ground safe".

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Currently, the FBI has taken over the investigation of the incident and Alaska Air has stated that they are working with authorities and their own safety teams to "thoroughly understand the incident".

The freakish incident involving a worker authorities said was suicidal points to one of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel: airline or airport employees causing mayhem.

"An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound". "Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees". "We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted.

She said the plane was "highly fragmented" and the wings were detached from the fuselage. "I would like to apologize to each and everyone one of them", said Russell.

The sheriff's department described the man as suicidal. The aircraft's unpredictable flight pattern terrified onlookers, who got photo and video footage of the plane's ill-fated excursion. "Never knew it, until now". "We have no indication of any casualties other than the person on the plane". He crashed almost an hour after the plane was taken from a maintenance area, though officials said that it did not appear that the fighter jets were involved in the crash of the aircraft.

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Shortly before crashing into Ketron Island, Russell said he was hoping to "have this moment of serenity".

"No security violations were committed", said Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden.

"That means I lift a lot of bags, like a lot of bags, so many bags", he says, adding, "it allows me to do some pretty cool things, too". He didn't hear the crash, but saw smoke.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this morning that President Donald Trump is "monitoring the situation".

Mr Russell, 29, who authorities say was suicidal and did not have a pilot's licence, died after the plane plummeted into a small island yesterday.

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