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Richard Russell Stole a Plane in Seattle and Crashed It. How’d He Learn to Fly?

As he flew the stolen 76-seat passenger plane above the Seattle area for nearly an hour on Friday night, Richard B. Russell was asked by an air traffic controller whether he was comfortable “just flying the plane around.”Mr. Russell, 28, a Horizon Air employee whose duties would have included handling baggage and de-icing planes but not flying them, responded, “I played video games before, so, you know, I know what I’m doing a little bit.”Indeed, Gary Beck, the chief executive of Horizon Air, an Alaska Air Group subsidiary, said that Mr. Russell — who died when the Q400 turboprop aircraft he was piloting crashed into an island…

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