Stolen Plane coming from Seattle Airport Crashes, Officials Say
An airline employee took off in a stolen plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night in an episode in which frustrated stranded travelers, riveted witnesses in addition to ended with the plane crashing about 30 miles coming from the airport, the authorities said.
The man, a 29-year-old who acted alone, was thought to be suicidal, said officials in Pierce County, where the plane crashed. No one else was believed to be on the 76-seat plane or injured on the ground.
“An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac,” the airport said in a tweet. “Aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.”
The Pierce Country sheriff’s office said in which two F-15 fighter jets had responded within minutes of the theft. The stolen plane crashed around Ketron Island, southwest of the airport.
“We know who he will be,” the office said in a tweet about the person flying the plane. “No others involved.” the item added in which the item was not a terrorist episode in addition to in which the man who took the plane was believed to be a mechanic in addition to a Pierce County resident.
Alaska Airlines said in a statement in which the takeoff occurred about 8 p.m. in addition to involved a turboprop, a Q400, flying for Horizon Air, a subsidiary.
The Seattle airport was brought to a standstill for part of Friday evening, according to radio traffic. On one Alaska Airlines flight coming from Portland, Ore., passengers were stuck on the tarmac after landing in addition to informed by the pilot in which there had been an issue with another plane at the airport, in addition to in which gates were backed up with 40 planes waiting.
Observers chronicled the plane’s course on social media in addition to listened in to radio traffic in real time.
While the stolen plane was still aloft, officials appeared to offer guidance to one man about how to fly the aircraft.
“I got a lot of people in which care about me in addition to the item’s gonna disappoint them to hear in which I did This particular,” the man could be heard saying. “I could like to apologize to each in addition to every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never definitely knew the item until currently.”
The man also commented on the beauty of the Olympic Mountains, said he had hoped to have a “moment of serenity” in addition to asked whether the plane could do a back flip.
Later, an official encouraged him to land the plane.
The man sputtered.
“I don’t know man,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t want to. I was kind of hoping in which was gonna be the item.”
Jason M. Bailey in addition to Kirk Johnson contributed reporting.