The FBI has concluded that an airline employee who carries an empty passenger plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in early August and performed dangerous maneuvers in the sky before slamming into a nearby island and was killed acted alone and intentionally crashed the aircraft.
The man was later identified as Richard Russell, a 28-year-old Horizon Air ground service worker and a resident of Pierce County, Washington state.
The FBI will not be pursuing federal charges.
As part of the investigation, the FBI considered information from the National Transportation Safety Board's review of the aircraft's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. Interviews met werkcolleges, vrienden en familie en een overzicht van sms'jes die met Russell werden uitgewisseld tijdens het incident, hebben niet geïdentificeerd welke informatie die zou voorstellen dat de theft van het vliegtuig betrekking had op bredere criminele activiteit of een act terrorisme.
Information obtained from the flight data recorder indicates that Russell maintained control of the aircraft, and the final descent to the ground appears to have been intentionally, "if the pilot had wanted to avoid impact with the ground he had time and energy to pull the column back, raise the nose, and initiate a climb "according to a statement from the FBI," instead, the column remained in a position forward or neutral and moved further forward about six seconds before the end of the FDR data. "
The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office identified the human remains found among aircraft materials from the crash site on Ketron Island as belonging to Russell, and lists the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries due to airplane crash and the manner of death as self-suicide .
The Transportation Security Administration said they take their responsibility to enforce security-related regulations and requirements to protect the nation's transport systems "very seriously" and as such, conducted a civil investigation relating to the Horizon Air incident at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in parallel to the FBI's criminal investigation.
The TSA investigation concluded that both Horizon Air and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are in compliance with all security requirements – but to further enhance security the TSA is working with industry partners and the Aviation Security Advisory Committee "to look at ways to collectively versterking van veiligheid in alle aspecten van de luchthavenmilieu. "