Possible Plane Hijacking at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Sean Reid
August 11, 2018

A Horizon Air Q400 turboprop made an unauthorized takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night and crashed in the south Puget Sound, according to Alaska Airlines. "There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight's tragic incident of a stolen Horizon Air plane from SeaTac Airport". The sheriff says that the man is a Pierce County resident, and that it is believed that he is the only casualty from the crash.

Many passengers awaiting takeoff tweeted that their planes were stopped on the ground during the incident. "We heard the jet because our windows were down while we were waiting in the ferry line to go to Anderson Island which is adjacent to Ketron Island".

The 29-year-old pilot was suicidal and appeared to have acted alone, the sheriff said, adding he was probably killed in the crash.

"This is not a terrorist incident".

Police described him as a "suicidal male" and confirmed he is local. An Alaska Airlines Dash 8 Q400 was stolen from its hanger at Seattle Tacoma Airport early in the evening of August 10, and plane took off without permission of tower.

Alaska Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday evening, August 10, 2018, in SeaTac, Wash. Troyer said F-15 aircraft were in the air "within a few minutes" and the pilots kept "people on the ground safe".

Air traffic controllers tried to talk the agent into landing but he refused.

Seattle-based The Air Current.com Editor-in-Chief Jon Ostrower said that "being able to power on and do a rudimentary preflight and engine start on a commercial airliner is not only the purview of trained airline pilots".

The airline tells The Associated Press that the plane was a Horizon Air Q400 and it believed no passengers were on board. They also said that operations at the airport had resumed after being temporarily halted.

Alaska Airlines said that it was aware of an unauthorized take-off of a Q400 twin-engine turboprop airplane operated by its sister carrier Horizon Air. "I would like to apologise to each and every one of them", he said.

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

On a live air-traffic control feed, the person flying the plane could be heard speaking with an air-traffic controller who addressed him as Rich and Richard.

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