Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Stolen Alaska Airlines plane crashes near Sea-Tac International Airport

Alaska Airlines planes are seen at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. An airline employee Stolen Alaska Airlines plane crashes near Sea-Tac International Airport
Melinda Barton | 11 August, 2018, 14:11

In several tweets, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the fighter pilots who were "ready to do whatever was needed to protect us".

The plane crashed into Ketron Island, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's office. The airport said operations have since returned to normal.

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.

Alaska Airlines on Twitter said the airplane was a turboprop Q400 airplane belonging to its sister carrier Horizon Air.

It is unclear how the employee was able to taxi the plane on a runway and take off without authorisation.

"Last night, our mujahideen have completely conquered a battalion in Ghazni, seizing weapons and ammunition and four pickup trucks", said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a message to journalists Saturday.

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. Troyer said F-15 aircraft scrambled out of Portland, Oregon, and were in the air "within a few minutes" and the pilots kept "people on the ground safe".

SeaTac confirmed the plane crashed after being piloted by an employee.

No passengers were on board the plane, the airline said.

Earlier, the pilot alternately expressed remorse for his actions and a desire to perform aerobatics as flew around Puget Sound, pursued by the two F-15 fighters.

Local media described the man who stole the plane as a mechanic. "Felt it in my gut something was wrong". It said the jets were not involved in the crash.

His motive is not clear, but audio between the cockpit and air traffic control indicates the man was in emotional distress.

The air traffic controller can also be heard trying to talk him into landing. "Holy smokes, I've got to stop looking at the fuel because it's going down quick". "I would like to apologise to each and every one of them", he said.

Footage captured by witnesses shows the hijacked Horizon Air Q400 performing stunts over Ketron Island near Seattle. He briefly turned away, then turned back and saw the explosion as the plane crashed.

Alaska Airlines confirmed the aircraft belonged to its subsidiary Horizon Air and was a Bombardier Dash-8 (Q-400) turboprop aircraft that likely had no passengers on board.