Man steals aircraft from Seattle airport, fighter jet scrambled

A Horizon Q400 airplane

Officials with Alaska Airlines confirmed the plane as a Bombardier Q400 that belongs to Horizon Air.

John Waldron, who spotted the rogue plane and the two F-15 jets, thought "they were practicing for an air show".

A passenger plane crashed on an island in Puget Sound on Friday night, not long after a suspect conducted an "unauthorized take-off" from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state, officials said.

"I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident".

No passengers were on board and there were no reports of injuries on the ground.

No passengers were onboard during the incident and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter.

The "suicidal" man who commandeered and crashed a plane without passengers from a USA airport in Washington state seemed excited, confused, and at times calm while talking with the air traffic control tower.

"This is going to take a little bit of time", said Jay Tabb, special agent in charge of the bureau's Seattle Division. Dozens of personnel were out at the crash site, and co-workers and family members were being interviewed, he said.

A Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, reported to be hijacked, flies over University Place, Washington, the US, before crashing in the South Puget Sound, August 10, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. The jets were armed but did not open fire, North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman Cameron Hillier said by phone.

When an official encouraged him to attempt a landing, he said: "I don't know". He knew something was off, he said Friday night.

Video taken by a bystander showed the passenger airplane making an unlikely upside-down loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington. Video showed flames amidst trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry. Fortunately, the employee was the only person on board and his weird stunt did not injure anyone else, according to Alaska Airlines.

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In a recording posted to Broadcastify, the pilot can be heard calmly chatting with Air Traffic Control.

The employee is a 29-year-old Pierce County resident, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said at a news conference Saturday in Seattle that the man, identified by sources familiar with the investigation as Richard Russell, was "fully credentialed" and authorized to be working near the aircraft. A Cessna 150 is a two-seat civilian aircraft.

The controller said: "There is a runway just off to your right side in about a mile".

Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this".

A plane flies past a control tower at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday in Washington.

Federal investigators say a stolen Horizon Air turboprop plane broke into many pieces when it crashed into an area of thick brush on a small island in the Puget Sound.

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. I think I might mess something up there too.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning that President Donald Trump was "monitoring the situation".

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

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