Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Airline employee crashes stolen plane in Seattle after being chased by jets

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
Ellis Copeland | 11 August, 2018, 14:14

The airport said operations have since returned to normal.

Alaska Airlines had earlier tweeted that there was an "unauthorized take-off" of a Horizon Air Q400.

The plane belonged to Horizon Air, which is owned by Alaska Airlines.

Two F-15s fighter jets pursued the plane but were not involved in the crash, local TV station KIRO7 reported.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told the Bellingham Herald that information was preliminary regarding the developing incident. "Our hearts are with the family of the individual" who flew the plane, she said.

A video uploaded to social media showed an aircraft matching a Q400's profile flying above a rural area, followed by a fighter jet.

Audio has been released from the Horizon Air worker who took off from Sea-Tac Airport and crashed on Ketron Island in south Puget Sound.

Officials said the plane later crashed into the sea.

The man later said that he was sorry. The aircraft then crashed into Ketron Island, 40 km to the southwest of the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. "We're just trying to find a place for you to land safely".

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He also said he didn't want to land at a nearby military base, telling ground crews 'those guys will rough me up if I try and land there'.

Morgan Chesky, a reporter for KOMO News, wrote on Twitter, "Per JBLM source: After being contacted by F-15's, stolen plane began to nose dive, crashing in north Pierce County".

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by to F-15s.

Flights were grounded with some passengers tweeting that their plane stopped abruptly on the runway.

"I got a lot of people that care about me and it's going to disappoint them to hear about this", says the pilot, who ground control addresses as Rich."I would like to apologize to each and everyone of them".

Black smoke was spotted pouring from the crash site. It reported that the plane was stolen by a mechanic.

The sheriff's office said that "this is not a terrorist incident" and that the pilot was a mechanic from an unknown airline.

The Coast Guard confirms that the plane crashed on Ketron Island, just off the shores of Steilacoom.

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