Stolen Plane Crashes Off Seattle After Airline Employee’s ‘Unauthorized Takeoff’

SeaTac Airport

SeaTac Airport

A stolen airplane belonging to the Alaska Airlines crashed near Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport late on Friday.

The airport said normal operations at the airport, which sits between Seattle and Tacoma, had resumed.

"We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400", according to a statement by Horizon's parent company Alaska Airlines, posted at 9:16 p.m. Seattle time.

Unconfirmed reports suggest a mechanic piloted the plane and conducted a series of stunts until he lost control of the aircraft.

A Horizon Air airplane was stolen from SeaTac Airport on August 10, 2018 and crashed on Ketron Island where it sparked a fire. Horizon Air is operated by Alaska Air Group. The Q400 is a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour.

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"This is not a terrorist incident. we know who he is".

An F-15 jet reportedly attempted to intercept the aircraft stolen by a suspect whom law enforcement has identified as "Rich". According to ABC news, the plane had to be diverted away from the city by US Air Force fighter jet after it took off from Sea-Tac International Airport. An Alaska Air spokesman said he did not have information about how the incident occurred.

It crashed on the south of Ketron Island, near a military facility.

"I feel like one of my engines is going out or something", Rick said in his last radio transmission, Ostrower reported.

Ketron Island is a sparsely populated island near Anderson Island, off Steilacoom, Wash.

"No ground structures were involved at the crash site", it said. "The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low", he added.

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