United States airline worker steals plane, takes it for flight before crashing it

United States airline worker steals plane, takes it for flight before crashing it

The unnamed man flying the twin-engine turboprop engaged in an hour-long back and forth negotiation with air traffic control where he mentioned not intending to land the aircraft, before the fiery crash on Ketron Island in North Pierce County, just south of Tacoma.

They also will work to recover the remains of the 29-year-old Pierce County man thought to be the only person on the plane.

"I've got a lot of people that care about me, and it's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this", the man says.

In the chilling recording, he revealed he was a "broken man" and apologised to the air traffic controller.

The plane crashed in a heavily wooded area of thick underbrush on the island, according to Debra Eckrote, the Western Pacific regional chief for the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested that a mechanic had stolen the aircraft.

"We are going to be thorough, which means taking the time needed to scour the area, delve into the background of the individual believed responsible, and review every aspect of this incident with all appropriate public & private partners", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

At around 8pm the Horizon Air employee stole a 76-seater Horizon Air turboprop Q400 from a maintenance area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and took to the skies, despite not having any apparent flying experience.

Officials said on Saturday the man was a 3.5-year Horizon Airlines employee and had clearance to be among aircraft, but that to their knowledge, he wasn't a licensed pilot.

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He estimated that the plane at its lowest point was no more than 100 feet (30.5 meters) above the water. "I've played some video games before", the man responds. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Audio released Saturday shows air traffic control trying to talk down the pilot. They said the family "is moving forward with the hard talk of processing our grief" and asked for space to mourn.

The wooded area is hard to access, and because there are no fire engines on the island, everything has to get to there via ferry, Adams said. "Never knew it, until now".

"Oh, Richard", said the controller, "We're not going to worry or think about that".

A witness on the ground, Bryan Sichley, said he was at Chambers Bay in University Place and saw a plane nose dive after being chased by two fighter jets.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement early this morning that the airline was "working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened".

The plane crashed into a small island in the Puget Sound some time after 8 p.m. local time, according to authorities. "I don't wanna, I don't know".

Investigators on Saturday will try to retrieve the plane's flight data recorder and its cockpit voice recorder. He didn't hear the crash, but saw smoke.

"Okay this insane. A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower", tweeted Ben Schaechter, a passenger on an airplane that was taxiing to take off before the incident.

President Donald Trump was briefed and the White House praised authorities´ quick response to the crisis. At that speed, the F-15s could have reached the Q400 in less than five minutes after take off from Portland.

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