SeaTac Airport Grounds All Flights After Plane Reportedly Stolen

In a tweet Alaska Airlines confirmed they were aware of an incident involving an unauthorised take-off

The sheriff's department said they were working to conduct a background investigation on the man, whose name was not immediately released.

It is believed the mechanic's lack of flying skills led to the crash, Troyer said.

The mechanic has only been identified as a 29-year-old man from Pierce County, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer tweeted.

He is believed to have been suicidal when he stole the plane capable of carrying 76 passengers.

No passengers were onboard during the incident and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter. At the Alaska Airlines terminal, it was a hushed Friday night.

The exchange happened during the flight but the timing of the conversation is unclear. "But in the end the man flying the stolen plane crashed on Ketron Island".

The newspaper describes him as sounding "carefree and wild" in the audio. He's been around Mount Rainier, now is going to Olympics. "I started at 30 something".

A recording of the radio conversation between the pilot and the control tower shows the pilot oddly calm. "I don't want to. They probably have anti-aircraft".

Alaska Airlines said no structures on the ground were damaged.

Later, he said he's "got a lot of people that care about me". "Let's turn around the air and land it and not hurt anybody on the ground". "I was kind of hoping that was gonna be it".

"It would be a better option if you tried to land it or even landed on the water", the controller says. "Never really knew it until now".

"I feel like one of my engines is going out or something", Rick said in his last radio transmission, Ostrower reported.

"Yeah", answers the pilot, who the controller addresses as Rich. "Pilots kept plane out of harm's way and people on ground safe". "Keep the aircraft nice and low".

"The FBI continues to work with our state, local, and federal partners to gather a complete picture of what transpired with tonight's unauthorized Horizon aircraft takeoff and crash", the agency said.

Gary is at Sea-Tac, I'm in Pierce County headed to where witnesses saw plane chased by F-15s, then a boom, and smoke.

The sheriff tweeted:"Told F-15s made it within a few minutes of theft of plane". He knew something was off, he said Friday night. "We saw the jets circle back after and she texted that there was no plane".

Black smoke was spotted pouring from the crash site.

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