(NBC News) Investigators are piecing together how an airline ground agent stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane and took off Friday night from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, and later crashed on a small island.
Investigators say 29-year-old Richard Russell navigated the plane across the tarmac and onto a runway. The flight lasted 75 minutes before he died in a fiery crash.
Some in the aviation industry are concerned the incident may have revealed a dangerous flaw in security procedures.
Russell had the same broad security access that thousands of ramp workers and mechanics have.
“We’re fortunate in the sense that it wasn’t a terrorist, someone focused on causing mass destruction. What this incident did was demonstrate a venerability that is still existing here almost 17 years after 9-11,” said former TSA administrator John Pistole.
Airports across the country now consider the possibility of an “insider” attack.