FBI releases classified documents from 2018 Horizon Air plane theft, crash

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has released more than 500 pages of previously classified documents about the investigation of a Horizon Airlines plane stolen from Sea-Tac Airport and crashed on Ketron Island in 2018 by a ground services worker.

One new piece of information that was released surrounded what was in a spiral notebook of 29-year-old Richard “Beeboo” Russell, who stole and flew an empty Horizon Air Bombardier Q400.

The FBI noted that Russell wrote about then-President Donald Trump and the effects his immigration policies were having. He wrote he had the desire to do something that would benefit all mankind.

Investigators said Russell worked alone when he was working as a ground service agent for the airline, and that he towed the turboprop out a hanger, climbed into the cockpit, and took off.

The flight data indicates Russell, who was never trained as a pilot, was in full control of the plane until his final descent, when he crashed into Ketron Island and killed himself.

Russell was a ground agent who had limited access to planes and towing equipment.

Authorities said they saw no apparent security violations before he stole the plane, but Russell had been drinking a lot, resulting in his friends and family trying an intervention, of which they indicated he seemed fine afterward.

>>Friend of Richard Russell: He was one to find beauty in everything

Days after the crash, one of Russells’ coworkers told KIRO 7 that they both had issues with being overworked and underpaid at Horizon Air, and he apparently learned to fly the plane from video games, but he did not know how to land it.

Below are links to previous coverage of the 2018 plane crash: