October 18, 2021
Published by Rolling Stone, our Aviation Security Consulting Team worked with the Port of Seattle to provide an After Action Report (AAR) on the incident of The Sky Thief: Beebo Russell' Last Flight.
On a Friday evening in August 2018, while thousands of Seattle residents were commuting home for the weekend, an unprecedented event happened at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. An airline ground crew employee with no piloting experience stole a commercial aircraft and went on a 70-minute joy ride around the Puget Sound area. Ross & Baruzzini Consultant Michael Steinle was hired by the Port of Seattle to conduct an after action report (AAR) of the airport’s response to the incident.
The report was delivered to the Port in December 2018 but was not made public. Over the next two and a half years, an investigative reporter from Rolling Stone magazine conducted extensive research into the incident and the man behind it, Richard “Beebo” Russell.
The Port eventually released the ARR to the reporter who also spoke with the FBI, FAA, military officials, as well as friends and family of Mr. Russell. In June 2021, this thorough article was published giving insight into the man who pulled off something that no one has ever done, and hopefully, no one will ever do again.
Fortunately, Mr. Russell didn’t want to hurt anyone because if he did, thousands could have died. Less than 10 minutes away, the Seahawks football stadium was packed with spectators for a Pearl Jam concert. The Ross & Baruzzini report is quoted in the Rolling Stone article and played a critical role in analyzing what happened during the incident. To write the report, Michael conducted dozens of interviews with airport personnel directly involved with the event.
Following the completion of the AAR, Ross & Baruzzini was asked to speak at several airport industry events to discuss the report’s findings. It is another example of how our work makes a difference.
To read the full Rolling Stone article, click here.