FBI finds body, data recorder in wreckage of Horizon Air plane

Aerial view of where a stolen Horizon plane crashed on Ketron Island. (Photo: KOMO News/Air 4)

STEILACOOM, Wash. – The FBI recovered on Sunday the flight data recorder, parts of the voice recorder and human remains from the wreckage of the stolen Horizon Air turboprop that crashed on Friday night.

The data recorder and components of the voice recorder were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board for analysis. The body was transported to the Pierce County Medical Examiners office. Earlier in the day, the Pierce Co. Medical Examiner confirmed it has the body and believes it is the man who stole the plane from Sea-Tac Airport, 28-year-old Richard Russell.

This is the third day investigators sifted through the wreckage on Ketron Island, hoping to piece together what happened.

Russell, a Horizon Air ground crew worker, crash landed the turboprop in the woods at Ketron Island nearly an hour after speeding off the runway in Sea-Tac.

During that wild flight, Russell, a man who didn't even have a pilot's license, performed aerial acrobatics and carried on a detailed conversation with an air traffic controller, all while two fighter jets flew alongside him.

“Think I'm going to try do a barrel roll, and if that goes good, I think I'm going to nose down and call it a night, Russell said to the air traffic controller on Friday.

"Well, Rich, before you do that, let's think about this,” Air Traffic Control Tower said.

On Sunday, Air Four captured the wreckage on the desolate Pierce County Island, as both the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board sifted through the mess.

KOMO News was told that this investigation is not going to be easy, as it will likely take some time to get the wreckage cleared and hopefully glean a little more information from the plane's black box.

Russell was the sole fatality in the crash. His family say he was a husband, son and gentle soul, and someone they knew as ‘beebo.’

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