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An airline employee stole an empty plane that eventually crashed on an island near Seattle-Tacc Airport. Listen to his last moments while talking to air traffic control.
USA TODAY

The family of a man who stole a plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday and died when he later collapsed later said they were "stunned and" Broken "and called him" Warm and Compassionate Man. "

In one statement, the Richard Russell family, whose nickname was" Beebo, "said a faithful husband, loving son, and good friend.

"As the voice recordings show, Beebo's intention was not a pity to anyone and he was right to say that there are so many people who loved him," the statement said.

Russell is declared dead. The authorities do not know why he took the plane, but in audio recordings he told air traffic controllers that he was "just a broken guy".

The 29-year-old worked for Horizon Air, helping with luggage and tow aircraft. Authorities say he worked Friday and was in uniform when he stepped into the cockpit of a Horizon Airlines Bombardier Q400 plane and took a one-hour jaunt.

He is said to have died in the crash of the aircraft on Ketron Island, about 30 miles south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where a large forest fire is triggered. The authorities say he is suicidal.

In a humorous YouTube video he posted last year, he shared his job and covered videos and photos of his various travels.

"I catch up" Many bags. How many bags. So many bags, "he said.

" He was a quiet guy. It seemed like he was well liked by the other workers, "said former employee Rick Christenson Seattle Times ." I feel really bad for Richard and his family. I hope they can do it. "

Christenson told the newspaper he had been watching the plane and its dangerous stunts, unaware that the pilot was his former colleague, when he saw smoke rising from the woods, he realized that the worst had happened.

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A blog that Russell seems to belong to reports that he was in Key West, Florida was born but moved to Alaska with his family when he was very young.

He wrote on the blog that he met his wife Hannah in Oregon when they both attended school, they owned a bakery and settled down 2015 in Sumner, Washington, where he got his job at Horizon Air.

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Russell says the blog, there He liked his job because it allowed him to travel back to Alaska to see his family.

"In this time of life, we enjoy exploring as much as possible, be it a day (or so) trip to one of the destinations of the Alaska Airline or to visit a new area of ​​Washington," he wrote. "We see ourselves as bakery connoisseurs and have to try every new place we go to."

He also added photos of his wedding and travels in the mountains and other places he had seen, including some ancient ruins. Russell ended the About section of the blog with his dreams for the future: he became a manager at Horizon Air or joined the military as an officer.

An air traffic controller called the man "Rich" and tried to persuade him to land the plane. "There's a runway just to the right of you on a mile," the controller says, referring to an airfield at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"Oh man, these guys will kill me when I try to land there," Russell replied, adding later, "This is probably jail time for life, is not it?"

Later, the man said, " I've got a lot of people looking after me, it's going to disappoint them and hear that I did that … just a broken guy, got some screws loose, I think. "

Christenson told the Seattle Times That it is difficult to hear the sound when Russell spoke to a flight controller

"It is frightening to listen to this young man, it makes me flinch," he said. "It was hard to sleep last night."

Post: The Associated Press

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