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Plane crashes after airline employee's solo 'unauthorized takeoff' from Seattle airport

11 August 2018

We believe there are no passengers on board.

An apparently suicidal mechanic stole an empty passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport late on Friday, took it for a brief flight then crashed it.

The plane crashed on Ketron Island, which had 17 inhabitants, per the 2010 Census, and 10 families.

An airline employee has stolen and crashed a passenger plane in Seattle.

The plane crashed on Ketron Island, said the sheriff's department in Pierce County, WA.

"Most terrorists don " t do loops over the water", Sheriff Paul Pastor said.

PCSO confirmed in a tweet that the person is a "suicidal male" and is a 19-year-old Pierce County resident.

Horizon Air CEO Gary Beck said it was too early to say anything and that the airline was still gathering information.

The Q400 took off from Seattle's SeaTac Airport at about 8.30pm local time and crashed about 90 minutes later.

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An airline employee "conducted an unauthorised takeoff" of an airplane carrying no passengers at the major airport in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington, airport officials said on Twitter.

Some Seattle-bound flights were diverted to Vancouver.

Air traffic controllers and pilots could be heard discussing a "ground stop" and dealing with a backlog of aircraft. I don't know! I don't want to. They also said that operations at the airport had resumed after being temporarily halted.

Weird audio from the cockpit reveals how air traffic control tried to talk him into landing the plane.

Other pilots can be heard on the recording as controllers deal with the havoc being created by the stolen plane.

A video uploaded to social media showed an aircraft matching a Q400's profile flying above a rural area, followed by a fighter jet.

Witnesses said the plane, which had no passengers on board, came down on the sparsely settled Ketron Island, which is southwest of Tacoma, after being pursued by military fighter jets. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this", the employee said to controllers. Rich's full name has not been given but he was repeatedly called "Rich" in the air traffic control audio, some of which you can listen to below.

"I would like to apologize to each and every one of them", the man added. More information as we learn more'. "I'm a broken guy who had a few screws loose". Well I would hope it would be for a guy like me'.

Plane crashes after airline employee's solo 'unauthorized takeoff' from Seattle airport