Richard Russell per his own words was "just a broken guy" who wanted to end his life and did it in a very brazen and dangerous way. Russell stole a plane from the airport he was working at as a mechanic and took it on a joyride before ending his life.
The audio transmission with air traffic control is very bizzare. He seem a little down as he discusses "alot of people that care about me... gonna to disappoint them". He then starts asking odd questions about the Orca in the news that was carrying it's dead baby, if the air traffic officer had ever been to the Olympics, and if he thought the plane could do a backflip.
Very sad for this troubled man, whose family called him "a faithful husband, a loving son and a good friend." Thank God he didn't hurt or kill anyone else in the process of the wild stunt. It was very dangerous for other planes, bystanders near the airport, and even where he crashed it.