Airline worker steals empty plane in Seattle, sparking security scare

A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport

A Horizon Q400 made an unauthorized takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night and crashed in the south Puget Sound, according to Alaska Airlines. Only the unknown pilot was on the plane.

"The person who stole it was either doing it on a lark, or was suicidal", Pastor said, adding there was no indication anyone else was on the plane. He described him as a white male, age 29, who may have mental health problems.

According to the mercurynews.com, witnesses reported seeing the Bombardier Q400, a turboprop aircraft, perform a loop-the-loop and almost slam into Chambers Bay, all while being pursued by fighter jets. "Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed", the airport wrote.

Two F-15 fighter jets took to the air from a base in Portland, Oregon, and were on the scene within minutes.

Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer of Horizon Air, a sister carrier of Alaska Airlines, said that at about 8pm an employee of the airline undertook an unauthorised take-off of a Q400 twin-engine turboprop airplane.

The stolen plane is a twin-engine turboprop designed for shorter distance flights.

A Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, reported to be hijacked, flies over University Place, Washington, the US, before crashing in the South Puget Sound, August 10, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this". "I'm a broken guy who had a few screws loose. I was kind of hoping that was gonna be it".

"I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident". However, "Rich" also later tells them that he can't figure out how to pressurize the plane and that he's getting "lightheaded" after having vomited at least once. Those employees direct aircraft for takeoff and gate approach and de-ice planes, as well as handle baggage. Separate audio, being shared on social media, seems to suggest the man thought he could land the aircraft by himself because he had played "some video games".

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"I would like to apologize to each and every one of them", the man added.

During the radio exchange, an air traffic control personnel by the name of Captain Bill attempted to steer Rich away from flying over the airport in order to avoid a collision that would risk the lives of multiple people. "Never really knew it until now". "I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did".

"If he had the skill set to do loops with a plane like this, he certainly had the capacity to fly it into a building and kill people on the ground", he said.

The pilot, identified as "Rich", comes across as excitable, confused, and even apologetic in a conversation with the control tower.

"So, (he) had some knowledge but clearly wasn't a commercial pilot".

"If this guy had evil intent, I'm not sure there's any way the F-15s could have stopped him from flying into Safeco Field", Curtis said.

A transportation security expert says a man who stole a plane from Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle likely had some pilot training, and military craft that pursued him possibly prevented a tragedy.

Read: 'Keep the plane right over the water. "Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees".

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