A MAN has stolen a passenger plane from an airport in the United States and deliberately flown it into the ground after being chased by military fighter jets above Washington.
Fortunately, no passengers were believed to have been on board the Horizon Air Q400 when it was stolen from Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport on Saturday afternoon (AEST).
In a statement, Alaska Airlines said the twin-propeller passenger plane was being piloted by “an airline employee”, who took the plane without permission. See the videos below!
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“An airline employee conducted an unauthorised take-off without passengers at Sea-Tac,” the statement said.
Witnesses filmed the moment two F-15 fighter jets began pursuing the stolen aircraft as it flew low over Seattle.
The commercial aircraft crashed soon after on the southern end of Ketron Island, near the Puget Sound.
Residents on the ground reported seeing the aircraft flying upside down before plummeting to the ground, nose first.
The Pierce County Sheriff said the man who stole the plane was “suicidal” and confirmed the incident was not related to terrorism.
The Sheriff said the F15 military jets were not involved in the crash.
Audio of the rogue pilot speaking on radio to the SeaTac air traffic control has been shared online, from where it has since gone viral.
In the audio, the man flying the plane can be heard apologising to the people who care about him before referring to himself as a “broken guy” with “a few screws loose”.
“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this,” the man can be heard telling air traffic control operators.
“I would like to apologise to each and every one of them. (I’m) just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never really knew it until now.”
“I think I am going to try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good then I am going to go nose down and call it a night.”
The airport halted all flight activity and was locked-down during the incident. Normal operations have since resumed.
#BREAKING Alaska Airlines says it is aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This video was taken by a woman who lives south of the airport. She says this is the plane. (Courtney Jensen Junka) pic.twitter.com/Zh3E4aGfSk
— Fox26 News (@KMPHFOX26) August 11, 2018
— Kai Simpson (@Kai_AHS) August 11, 2018
Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed. Weird times. pic.twitter.com/Ra4LcIhwfU
— bmbdgty (@drbmbdgty) August 11, 2018
Seconds after the plan crashed pic.twitter.com/SgxmAr66WG
— iRViNGTON BiLLSWORTH ??♂️ (@iRVvyBaun) August 11, 2018
— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018
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