Horizon Airlines Plane employee steals plane, crashes it

Horizon Airlines Plane employee steals plane, crashes it

Horizon Airlines Plane employee steals plane, crashes it

After taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the hijacked plane crashed on Ketron Island. He said the pilot told passengers there was an incident and they were stuck on the tarmac for about an hour.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said information was sketchy and preliminary regarding the developing incident.

The unauthorized pilot was described by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department as a "suicidal male". KIRO 7 further reports that a mechanic who works at the airport took the plane and flew it south along the coast, doing maneuvers.

"Alaska Airlines believes a ground service agent employed by Horizon Air was the individual responsible for flying the Horizon Q400 without clearance from Sea-Tac International Airport around 8 p.m. tonight".

The aircraft took off without authorization and without passengers Friday night with "an airline employee" at the controls, airport officials tweeted Friday. They also said that operations at the airport had resumed after being temporarily halted.

Two F-15 fighter jets supposedly from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland were "not involved in (the) crash", the Pierce County Sheriff's Office tweeted Friday.

Sea-Tac airport confirmed the plane was down a short time later.

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Audio captured between the man - who was identified as "Rich" - and air traffic controllers show him asking for help to get the cabin pressurised so he would stop feeling so lightheaded.

Although the identity of the man is not known, authorities have confirmed that he was in charge of directing aircraft for takeoff, gate approach and de-icing planes. We're trying to get accurate information about what is actually going on.

"I've got a lot of people that care about me", he said at one point.

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he is "just a broken guy", news agency Press Trust of India reported, quoting foreign media.

Authorities said an airline employee had made "an unauthorised take-off" without any passengers on board. We believe there are no passengers on board.

"The person who stole it was either doing it on a lark, or was suicidal", Pastor said, adding there was no indication anyone else was on the plane.

The plane was a Q400, a Bombardier turboprop plane, one of about 40 the airline has in its fleet.

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