Newly released CCTV footage shows the moment an airport baggage handler stole a plane before crashing it on a remote island.

Richard Russell, 29, a Washington state airport employee at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stole an Alaska Airlines plane in 2018 and took it for a "joyride," before fatally crashing it 90 minutes later.

The new footage from the day of the incident shows Russell walking through airport security with a "The Sky's No Limit" T-shirt.

He is then seen walking into a restricted area, getting onto a tarmac tow vehicle, and dragging the plane onto the runway, according to the video released by local Seattle news outlet KOIN.

Russell then opens the cabin door, jumps in the cockpit and takes off in the Q400 Turbopro. "Seattle ground Horizon guy. About to take off. It's gonna be crazy," he tells traffic control. "Hey, I found myself in a predicament. I'm in the air right now. And just gonna soar around," he adds. He finally crashed on an island 30 miles away from Seattle.

The air traffic controller kept trying to persuade him to land, but Russell continued joking with them. "Hey do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?" he says jokingly.

An air traffic controller could also be heard saying: "He needs some help controlling his aircraft." Russell responded: "Nah, I mean, I don't need that much help. I've played some video games before."

He also goes on to apologise for stealing the plane and says that people who care about him will really be disappointed in him. "I would like to apologise to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it, until now," Russell says.

An FBI report had earlier said that Russell did not have a pilot's licence, but knew how to work the plane because of his experience as an airport employee.

Representative Image. Credit: Pixabay / JFK_Photography