Crash reported after plane stolen from Seattle airport

11 August, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • A Twitter user took video of the plane before it crashed

Air Alaska passengers wait in the terminal following an incident where an airline employee took off in an airplane, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington, U.S., August 10, 2018.

Authorities said an airline employee had made "an unauthorised take-off" without any passengers on board.

Two F-15 fighters were scrambled from the Portland airport and followed the plane as it flew over the region, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

The plane was piloted by a 29-year-old Pierce County man and crashed on Ketron Island, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said.

Video footage on social media showed the plane flying above the Seattle area with an F15 fighter jet following it. Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed on Ketron Island, about 40 kilometres south-west of Tacoma, Washington.

The plane "was doing stunts in the air or probably the lack of flying skills caused crash into Island", the department tweeted.

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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.

A Q400 Turboprop, like that stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport.

"I don't know, man", the pilot answers.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told the Bellingham Herald that information was preliminary regarding the developing incident.

"I was getting prepared to run just in case", he said.

"What we have is that someone stole a plane", Troyer said. Video showed fiery flames amidst trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry. "No others involved", the Pierce County Sheriff tweeted.

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"My husband and I are recently former Boeing employees and we were wondering why a jet was near the passenger airplane", she said.

Flights from Sea-Tac were temporarily grounded but normal operations resumed around 9:30 p.m.

News reports said the plane was stolen about 8 p.m. local time.

"We can see evidence of fire on the hillside here on this island", he said in a reporter standup.

Live air traffic control audio captured the heartbreaking conversation between the man inside the plane and ATC, according to the Seattle Times.

'It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie, ' he told the newspaper.

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