Family of man who stole, crashed plane stunned, heartbroken

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WASHINGTON: The family of an airport ground service agent who stole a passenger plane in the US, performed some amazing stunts and then crashed it, taking his own life, are stunned and heartbroken.
“This is a complete shock to us,” the family of 29-year-old Richard Russell said in a statement they released last night after he stole a passenger plane on Friday from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and was killed when he crashed on Ketron Island, some 40kms away.

“We are devastated by these events, and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now,” the statement said while describing Russell as “a faithful husband, a loving son and a good friend.”

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. He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him.”

Russell, a Horizon Air ground service agent for three-and-a-half years, was…

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