March 23, 2019

'Suicidal' man steals and crashes empty plane from Seattle airport

11 August 2018, 02:13 | Devin Moran

In a tweet Alaska Airlines confirmed they were aware of an incident involving an unauthorised take-off

In a tweet Alaska Airlines confirmed they were aware of an incident involving an unauthorised take-off

Alaska Airlines confirmed an "unauthorised takeoff" of a Horizon Air Q400, a twin-propeller passenger plane, from Sea-Tac airport on Saturday afternoon (AEST). They also said that operations at the airport had resumed after being temporarily halted.

Alaska Airlines tweeted about an incident involving an "unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400".

A "suicidal" airline mechanic stole an Alaska Airlines plane without any passengers on it, took off from Washington state, and crashed near an island.

The F-15 jets chased after the plane, but weren't involved in the crash, the sheriff's office said.

Officials said that Rich was a 29-year-old suicidal man and the hijacking of the plane is not related to terrorism.

The plane crashed into Ketron Island, it said.

The Q400 is a twin-prop aeroplane with up to 78 seats, depending on configuration.

Video showed the aircraft doing large loops and other risky maneuvers as the sun set.

Instead, the sheriff's office said the cause of the crash could have been either the pilot's inexperience, or his decision to pull mid-air stunts during his short flight.

Freaky audio from the cockpit reveals how air traffic control tried to talk him into landing the plane.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has a number of vessels on scene, while the U.S. Coast Guard is on scene as well. It crashed on the south of Ketron Island, near a military facility.

Witnesses said a. plane is going down.

In the audio, the man flying the plane can be heard apologising to the people who care about him before referring to himself as a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose".

The pilot of the stolen Horizon Airlines turboprop alternately expressed remorse for his actions and a desire to perform aerobatics as flew over Puget Sound on Friday, pursued by two F-15 fighters.

SeaTac confirmed the plane crashed after being piloted by an employee. It said the jets were not involved in the crash. "We heard the jet because our windows were down while we were waiting in the ferry line to go to Anderson Island which is adjacent to Ketron Island".

It added: "This is not a terrorist incident".

This is a developing story, more information to come.

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