The guy who hijacked a plane from Seattle-Tacoma Airport is blowing the minds of experienced, professional aviators. It seems nobody can figure out how a person with no flight time, flight experience or flying lessons could taxi a commercial plane, let alone bust out some "incredible maneuvers."
Horizon Air chief executive Gary Beck also says “Commercial aircraft are complex machines. They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did.”
Richard Russel told air traffic control last week he was feeling pretty comfortable behind the wheel of the plane he took. He told them it's because of his experience with some video games that he new a little thing or two.
Ryan Barclay, an aviation expert and founder of Fly Away Simulation, told The New York Times that it's possible that flight simulators or video games could literally teach someone how to operate a plane. “Yes, I believe that a civilian who has a thorough experience of flight simulation could indeed start, taxi and take off an aircraft with no real world pilot experience,” Barclay said.
And on - you guessed it - YouTube, there's probably enough videos that if put all together could just maybe get you off the ground. One of them is below.
Sadly, as gifted as Russel clearly was in the cockpit, he died at end of his joyride due to engine trouble, but mostly it was apparently his intention from the beginning.