A suicidal airline mechanic stole an empty Alaska Airlines plane and took off from Sea-Tac International Airport Friday night, before forcefully crashing near small Kreton Island in Pierce County. The 29-year-old mechanic stole the Horizon Air Q400 turboprop and the crash occurred because the person was performing stunts in the air or lacked the skills to fly an airplane, as reported by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
#ÚltimaHora: Empleado de aerolínea secuestró avión en #Washington, #EstadosUnidos. #Videos muestran el #avión que fue tripulado sin autorización y que se habría estrellado según muestran las imágenes tras haber sido tomado del Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. En la aeronave no viajaba ningún pasajero. El avión es un Q400 y pertenece a Alaska Airlines. La grabación muestra cómo está siendo perseguido por un F-15, un jet militar. #Seattle #Secuestro #Aviones #Robo #Tacoma #Aeropuerto #Airport #AlaskaAirlines #Plane #Planes
The Q400 turboprop airplane is specifically designed for shorter-distance flights and can seat only 76 passengers. Sheriff Paul Pastor further confirmed that the incident was not a terrorist act. Rather it was a joyride gone terribly wrong.
The US Coast Guard then sent a 45-foot (14-meter) vessel to the crash scene after witnesses reported seeing a large plume of smoke in the air.
We've confirmed a Horizon Air Q400 that had an unauthorized takeoff from SeaTac around 8pm has gone down near Ketron Island in Pierce County, WA. We're working to confirm who was on board, we believe there were no guests or crew on board other than the person operating the plane.— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
Same footage as my last post BUT with the audio of #trafficcontrol talking with the suicidal employee. Great Job to traffic control for talking him into not hurting anyone on the ground. There were NO PASSENGERS on the plane. Just the suicidal employee. #seatac #seattle #alaskaairlines #q400
As per VOX, Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower was able to capture the final radio call made between the pilot, who called himself “Rick,” and air traffic controllers on the ground.
Whether the person who stole the plane survived the crash or not, is yet to be known. This incident surely raises questions over airport security and how an unqualified worker (who do not even have the required piloting skills) was given an entry and access to the plane. Also, till now it is very much unclear how the man was able to take off unhindered.
I had my recorder running next to the open frequency. This was recorded at around 8:47 PM PDT. https://t.co/nfABBnRVIE
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) August 11, 2018