Alaska Airways stated the stolen aircraft belonged to their sister provider Horizon Air
An apparently suicidal mechanic stole an empty passenger aircraft from the Seattle-Tacoma airport late Friday, took it for a quick flight then crashed it in an incident officers stated was unrelated to terrorism.
Two navy F-15s have been scrambled to chase the stolen aircraft, however native officers stated the jets “weren’t concerned within the crash.”
Video taken by a bystander confirmed the passenger airplane making an unlikely upside-down aerial loop, then flying low over Puget Sound earlier than crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island within the northwestern US state of Washington.
The crash sparked a hearth within the dense forest. Flames lit up the night time as they unfold from the burning wreckage to close by bushes.
An airline worker “performed an unauthorized takeoff” of an airplane carrying no passengers, then “crashed in south Puget Sound,” Sea-Tac Airport officers stated on Twitter.
The stolen aircraft was a twin engine turboprop Q400 airplane belonging to its sister provider Horizon Air, Alaska Airways stated on Twitter. It usually carries 76 passengers.
“This isn’t a terrorist incident,” Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s workplace wrote on Twitter.
“Confirmed data… this can be a single suicide male. We all know who he’s. No others concerned,” Troyer wrote
The suspect was recognized as a 29-year-old airline mechanic and Pierce county resident who “acted alone,” Troyer added, confirming that there have been “no passengers on the aircraft” when it crashed.
The sheriff’s workplace additionally stated that the F-15s, which have been scrambled out of Portland, within the close by state of Oregon, arrived minutes after the aircraft was stolen and stored the plane “out of harms means and other people on floor protected.”
Horizon Air CEO Constance Van Muehlen issued a video assertion describing the incident.
“We consider it (the aircraft) was taken by a single Horizon Air worker and no different passengers or crew have been on board,” she stated. “Our hearts are with the household of the person aboard in addition to all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air workers.”
– ‘Weird’ incident filmed –
John Wauldron, who took dramatic video of the stolen aircraft flying in a loop, advised CNN that he was out for a night stroll when he noticed the 2 jet fighters following the turboprop airplane.
His first thought was that they have been working towards for an air present. “So, I began to seize video, simply because I believed it was, type of weird,” he advised CNN.
Wauldron stated it appeared that the jets have been chasing down the airplane. “I believed that is actually odd. Stored the video rolling.”
Then the passenger aircraft pilot “did an entire loop … I could not consider he recovered.”
He estimates that the aircraft at its lowest level “was at least 100 toes (30.5 meters) above the water.”
Then the pilot “pulled — just about straight up. And type of at an angle. And nearly stalled the plane. One way or the other he obtained it leveled again off. After which made his means down towards the island.”
Wauldron stated that he was ready to “run and take cowl.” He briefly turned away, then turned again and noticed the explosion because the aircraft crashed.
“Noticed a shiny, pinpoint space of flame. And the smoke. I believed, oh, my god. I feel he simply crashed.”