After Seattle plane crash, local instructors issue importance of flight training

Hampshire County

A baggage handler stole a passenger plane from a busy Seattle airport last Friday night. 

Flight instructors at Northampton Airport said this man would have needed some flight training to know how to start and fly the plane. 

Ground service agent Richard Russell stole a Horizon Air commercial plane off a Seattle airport runway Friday night.

Russell told air traffic controllers that he had extensive video game experience, but no formal flight training.

He flew the plane for about an hour before crashing it on an island near the city. He died in the fiery crash. 

A flight instructor at Northampton Airport told 22News why starting and flying a plane is no easy task.

“These airplanes are not easy to start up and take a lot of training to even start up and fly the planes,” said Bobb Beede. “The start sequence is fairly complicated so it’s pretty unusual that you would see someone figure all this out and be able to do it.”

Beede told 22News the engines of the planes at the Northampton Airport are all different than the one that crashed in Seattle. He said you need 40 hours of flight training in order to receive a pilot license.

Both the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the Seattle plane crash.

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