Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Stolen plane crashes near Seattle after chase by military jets

Stolen plane crashes near Seattle after chase by military jets

Early reports indicate that an airport employee stole the jet, causing fighter jets to be deployed and all ground traffic was halted.

Footage shows pilot attempt the aerial maneuver after he hijacked the plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state.

Horizon Air chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen said the company believed the mechanic involved was a Horizon employee.

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.

Troyer said the man who stole the plane is a mechanic at the airport.

Audio recordings from the air traffic control tower at Sea-Tac feature the conversation between the tower and the man in the airplane.

The airport also confirmed the plane wasn't carrying passengers. I don't know! I don't want to.

"There is the runway just off to your right side in about a mile", the controller told him.

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Then the pilot "pulled - pretty much straight up". Radar showed that it flew in circles above Ketron Island before going down so maybe the pilot was trying to find a landing zone.

"I'm not quite ready to bring it down just yet", Rich said. And the smoke. I thought, oh, my god. "Let's turn around the air and land it and not hurt anybody on the ground". "I was hoping that was going to be it, ya know".

Mr Troyer said that he is working with Federal Bureau of Investigation and military personnel as they investigate what happened. "But could you start a left turn please?"

Waldron said that he was prepared to "run and take cover". I would like to apologise to each and every one of them. "I'm a broken guy who had a few screws loose. Never really knew it until now".

The Q400 took off from Seattle's SeaTac Airport at about 8.30pm local time and crashed about 90 minutes later. "Keep the aircraft nice and low".

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by to F-15s.

Two F-15 fighters were scrambled and all SeaTac flights were briefly grounded, the Tacoma News Tribune reported. John Waldron was walking along a trail near the bay when he noticed the two military jets following another plane.

"Saw a bright, pinpoint area of flame and the smoke".

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