Commercial airliner is 'hijacked from Seattle-Tacoma Airport', say reports

12 August, 2018, 06:43 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • A Q400 Turboprop like that stolen from Sea Tac International Airport

Sheriff Paul A. Pastor said at the press conference that there was no sign that it was a terrorist attack. After flying around an unpredictable path, the plane crashed at a nearby island. It's a small island with about two dozen residents.

As Rich flew over the water, two F-15 fighter jets were dispatched to intercept the plane.

Federal authorities on Saturday were seeking to learn what drove an airline worker to steal an empty airplane from Seattle's airport in a security scare that caused the scrambling of US fighter jets and ended when the plane crashed onto a sparsely populated island.

"I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident. We have no indication of any casualties other than the person on the plane".

The airport made a simple response to the plane that was stolen by a lone employee, in a post on the Sea-Tac official Twitter account. The FBI's Seattle office took charge of the criminal investigation, while the NTSB is assisting in cooperation with local and state partners. Dozens of personnel were out at the crash site, and co-workers and family members were being interviewed, he said.

Video showed the aircraft doing large loops and other risky maneuvers as the sun set. There were no passengers aboard.

Investigators would not name the employee who took the plane, but a law enforcement source identified him to KUOW as Richard B. Russell of Sumner, Washington.

"More likely if he was lightheaded, that was caused by the aerobatics", Stratman said in a phone interview from Kansas City. Officials said there did not appear to be passengers on the plane.

"It just hurts to hear someone you know, and just hear the pain in their voice", Kaelin said. "We don't know how he learned to do that", he said.

Video footage on social media showed a large plane flying above the Seattle area with an F-15 following it. Witnesses reported flames on the sparely-populated island reachable only by boat, according to the AP. Fortunately, the employee was the only person on board and his freaky stunt did not injure anyone else, according to Alaska Airlines.


They may have cost him his life, but an airline employee's acrobatics in an empty propeller plane he stole in Seattle drew words of wonder from the head of the company where he'd worked.

Several federal agencies are investigating the incident, said Brad Tilden, the chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group. The Q400 is a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he is "just a broken guy".

The controller said: "There is a runway just off to your right side in about a mile".

The air-traffic controller responded calmly, seeming not to want to upset Rich as the conversation continued and he tried to coax Rich into landing somewhere.

At one point, he said: "Hey do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?" They pursued the aircraft before it went down on Ketron Island, between Tacoma and Olympia.

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

A plane flies past a control tower at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday in Washington.

Authorities in the Seattle area have confirmed the crash of a stolen commercial airline plane Friday night.

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. "Witnesses said a. plane is going down".

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