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Offbeat Stolen plane crashes near Sea-Tac International Airport; no passengers onboard

11:26  11 august  2018
11:26  11 august  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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'Unauthorized' airplane crashes near Sea - Tac International Airport , officials say. An airline employee conducted an unauthorized airplane takeoff at Seattle's Sea - Tac International Airport , crashing nearing the airport , officials confirmed early Saturday.

Normal operations at Sea - Tac Airport have resumed.” The stolen plane crashed on Ketron Island, southwest of the airport , and a local television station showed a wooded area in flames that it called a debris field.

An airline employee at Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport crashed an airplane after an "unauthorized takeoff" late Friday night, the airport confirmed on social media.

Two military F-15s chased the plane but were not involved in the crash, according to the Pierce County (Washington) Sheriff's department and the Associated Press. The plane crashed into Ketron Island, about 30 miles south of the airport, with no passengers onboard, airport officials said. 

'This is probably jail time for life,' airline worker says before crashing empty Alaska Airlines plane near Seattle

  'This is probably jail time for life,' airline worker says before crashing empty Alaska Airlines plane near Seattle An airline worker stole an empty Alaska Airlines plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington on Friday night.Load Error

Planes line the tarmac at Sea - Tac International Airport after service was halted following reports of a stolen plane on Friday. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times). On a live air -traffic control feed, the person flying the plane could be heard speaking with an

Flights were grounded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport . Flames could be seen on Ketron Island, Washington, where the stolen plane crashed late Friday, Aug. Normal operations at Sea - Tac Airport have resumed.

The pilot was a suicidal 29-year-old male and a resident of Pierce County, whose name was not immediately released, according to Ed Troyer, the county's public information officer. 

The FBI's Seattle office issued a statement early Saturday, saying that the investigation is still ongoing and that the information gathered does "not suggest a terrorist threat or additional, pending criminal activity."

Alaska Airlines later confirmed that a Horizon Air Q400, a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats, made an "unauthorized takeoff" from SeaTac airport. Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.

"We believe it was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and that no other passengers or crew were onboard," Horizon Air Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen said in a statement. "Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees."

a building lit up at night: A plane flies past a control tower at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday in Washington. An airline mechanic stole an Alaska Airlines plane without any passengers and took off from Sea-Tac International Airport Friday night before crashing near Ketron Island, officials said. © AP A plane flies past a control tower at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday in Washington. An airline mechanic stole an Alaska Airlines plane without any passengers and took off from Sea-Tac International Airport Friday night before crashing near Ketron Island, officials said.

Stolen plane in Seattle crash prompts airport security concerns

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There were no passengers on board the plane which was crashed by the suspect. The aircraft “ crashed in south Puget Sound,” Sea - Tac Airport said, adding that normal operations at the transport hub had resumed after a pause.

No passengers were onboard and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter. An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea - Tac ; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound.

The plane "was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash into Island," the department tweeted. Video showed the aircraft doing large loops and other dangerous maneuvers as the sun was about to set.

Ketron Island, in the Seattle metro area, is part of Pierce County. The county is also home to Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain and volcano in the Cascade Range. 

A Coast Guard spokeswoman said the agency was responding to a report of a smoke plume and possible plane crash, according to the AP. Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi said a 45-foot vessel was headed to the scene.

Royal King to the Seattle Times that he was photographing a wedding when he saw a plan and two F-15 fighter jets trailing it. He said he didn’t see the crash but saw smoke.

“It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie,” King told the Times. "The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low."

In a statement, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the responding fighter pilots that flew alongside the stolen aircraft.

"I want to thank the Air National Guard from Washington and Oregon for scrambling jets to keep Washingtonians safe," Inslee tweeted, adding: "Those pilots are trained for moments like tonight and showed they are ready and capable."

Contributing: Emily Brown, USA TODAY; KING-TV, Seattle; Associated Press

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