By USA Today. An airline employee at Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport crashed an airplane after an “unauthorized takeoff” late Friday night, the airport confirmed on social media.
The airplane crashed in south Puget Sound, Sea-Tac International said on Twitter, adding that normal operations have resumed at the airport.
Two military F-15s chased the plane but were not involved in the crash, according to the Pierce County (Washington) Sheriff’s department and the Associated Press. The plane crashed into Ketron Island, about 30 miles south of the airport.
An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.
— Sea-Tac Airport (@SeaTacAirport) August 11, 2018
We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
The pilot was a suicidal 29-year-old male and a resident of Pierce County, according to Ed Troyer, the county’s public information officer. There was no connection to terrorism, Troyer added.
In a tweet, Alaska Airlines said there was an “unauthorized take-off” of a Horizon Air Q400. No passengers were on board. (Read more from “Alaska Airlines Plane Stolen, Crashes Near Sea-Tac Airport” HERE)
Editor’s Note: Video has profanity; mechanic’s conversation with control tower is heard at the end:
Here’s another, fuller audio clip with mechanic:
VOX: Was the Alaska Airplane Shot Down?
An airline employee stole an Alaska Airlines Q400 passenger airplane from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) late Friday night and has since crashed on Ketron Island in the southern Puget Sound. No passengers are believed to have been on board the plane. According to local media, witnesses reported seeing F-15 fighter jets chasing the plane, followed by smoke and loud boom. . .
What we don’t know:
* Whether the plane crashed on its own or was shot down
* The name of the person who stole the plane and why they did it
* If the person who stole the plane survived the crash (Read more from Vox HERE)
‘Suicidal’ Mechanic Steals Plane From Seattle Airport
By Washington Post. A “suicidal” airline mechanic stole an empty Horizon Airlines plane, took off from Sea-Tac International Airport and was chased by military jets before crashing near a small island in the Puget Sound on Friday night, officials said.
Preliminary information suggests that the 29-year-old mechanic stole the Horizon Air Q400 and the crash occurred because he was “doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.
Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, said on Twitter the man was suicidal and there was no connection to terrorism. (Read more from “‘Suicidal’ Mechanic Steals Plane From Seattle Airport” HERE)