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Review to investigate Sea-Tac Airport response to stolen plane crash

An independent review will look at Sea-Tac Airport's response after a Horizon Air employee stole a plane from a storage hanger last month.
Credit: John Waldron

Sea-Tac Airport authorized funding Tuesday to hire an independent review of the airport’s response to a stolen plane incident last month.

Richard Russell, a Horizon Air employee, took a prop plane from a cargo area on August 10. He flew it for over an hour before it crashed on Ketron Island in south Puget Sound. Nobody else was on board, and Russell’s body was recovered from the wreckage.

LISTEN: Cockpit audio from worker who stole empty plane from Sea-Tac Airport

RELATED: Stolen plane narrowly missed family inside Ketron Island cabin

The independent review will work with industry stakeholders to develop solutions to improve airport security industry-wide, according to Sea-Tac Airport.

The airport is also discussing possible protocol changes with federal agencies and airline partners. Sea-Tac expects to publish those findings in December.

Sea-Tac officials are also leading a national working group on airport and aircraft security. The group will look at industry practices related to technology, security, and employee well-being.

RELATED: Horizon Air employee had security clearance, specialized training

It expects to make industry-wide recommendations in the coming months, according to Sea-Tac Airport.

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