A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency, Feb. 18, by crashing his Piper Cherokee into an Austin, Texas, office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees. The pilot, Joseph Stack, 53, and one IRS employee were killed, according to an AP story.
Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, responded to the “self-destructive act,” saying:
“It is important in the days ahead that we not overreact to this isolated act of suicide by a deeply troubled person and jeopardize the ability of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding U.S. citizens to fly. We need to let the parallel accident and law enforcement investigations proceed and not rush to ill-informed judgments or precipitous actions.”
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board has transferred control of the investigation into the crash of a small aircraft into an office building in Austin, Texas, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After the crash, the NTSB immediately initiated an investigation and dispatched a team of investigators to the scene.
Because information points toward the crash being an intentional act rather than accident, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman consulted with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who agreed that, given the apparent criminal nature of the event, the investigation should be transferred to the FBI. NTSB investigators will remain at the scene to assist the FBI, Hersman added.