Commercial airliner is 'hijacked from Seattle-Tacoma Airport', say reports

Roman Schwartz
August 12, 2018

One user tweeted, "Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, nearly crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed". Two f-15 fighter jets were scrambled from Portland to intercept the stolen aircraft.

Sea-Tac officials said the airline employee had "conducted an unauthorised takeoff without passengers".

"This is going to take a little bit of time", said Jay Tabb, special agent in charge of the bureau's Seattle Division.

His family members said in a statement they were stunned and heartbroken.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said it was "not a terrorist incident", adding the man was local and 29.

They believe there were no passengers on board and no structures hit when the plane crashed into Ketron Island on Friday night. There were no passengers aboard.

The sheriff said earlier that the employee was a airline mechanic, but the airline said he was a ground service agent.

Performing those stunts in that plane which carries up to 80 people is something that this aircraft isn't created to perform. They're not as easy to fly as say a Cessna 150.

"Safety is our number one goal", Alaska Airlines CEO Mr Tilden said.

Gary Howell, a Wasilla High track and field coach, said he remembered Russell as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player. They pursued the aircraft before it went down on Ketron Island, between Tacoma and Olympia. Fire trucks had to travel to the island by ferry to extinguish the blaze. He said it appears that Russell died in the crash and that there were no injuries on the ground, according to the Times.

Troyer said they are "working background on him now".

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A Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, reported to be hijacked, flies over University Place, Washington, the US, before crashing in the South Puget Sound, August 10, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

In another exchange, as the controller tried to persuade him to land the plane, the rogue pilot said: "Yeah, not quite ready to bring it down just yet, but holy smokes I need to stop looking at the fuel because it's going down quick".

"There is a runway just off to your right side in about a mile", the controller says, reffering to an airfield at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour. It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this ... Got a few screws loose, I guess.

The incident prompted authorities to temporarily ground flights at SeaTac.

Officials said the plane later crashed into the sea.

"It is highly fragmented", she said of the plane.

"Hey, do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?" he joked.

Investigators expect they will be able to recover both the cockpit voice recorder and the event data recorder from the plane.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is monitoring the situation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning. "The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low". Flights resumed at about the same time the crash occurred, the airport said in a statement.

"It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", one witness said.

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