'Suicidal' mechanic steals plane from Seattle airport


A SeaTac Airport employee managed to steal an Alaska Airlines plane from its hanger, taking off without permission and before crashing it on a nearby island.

PCSD officials also said this is not a terrorist incident.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told the Bellingham Herald that information was preliminary regarding the developing incident.

"A joyride gone terribly wrong", Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a news conference in Steilacoom, which is about 3 miles from the island.

Horizon Air chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen said the company believed the mechanic involved was a Horizon employee.

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Tonight, a 29-year-old mechanic from an unknown airline stole a Horizon Airlines plane from SeaTac Airport in Seattle, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Flight were delayed but normal operations have since resumed at Sea-Tac Airport.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the fighter pilots for keeping residents safe.

Two military F-15s were scrambled to pursue the plane, but were not involved in the crash.

Alaska Air confirmed the rogue plane: "We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400", Alaska tweeted.

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Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour. The man's condition wasn't immediately known. It crashed on the south of Ketron Island, near a military facility.

The Horizon Air Q400 plane of Alaska Airlines was taken by an employee from the airport which resulted in interruption of air traffic at the airport.

No passengers were on board and there were no reports of injuries on the ground. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time. "Really tough. But more than that, the tragedy is what strikes me", he said.

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".

A plume of smoke has been seen near Ketron Island, Washington, the US Coastguard reported.

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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.