Family of airline worker who crashed stolen plane 'shocked'

Family of airline worker who crashed stolen plane 'shocked'

An airline mechanic stole an airplane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday (Aug 10) and was chased by two USA military jets before crashing on a nearby sparsely populated island, the local sheriff said.

The family of a man who authorities say stole an airplane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and later crashed it called him a faithful husband, loving son and good friend.

Airport officials say in a tweet Friday night that an airline employee "conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers".

Federal Bureau of Investigation said it does not consider the incident terror-related as authorities try to piece together how a security scare of that magnitude occurred at major airport.

Male is confirmed a suicidal male.

Stunned onlookers shot cell phone video of the turboprop flying low to the ground, then again as it was escorted by the fighter planes, which tried to move the plane away from populated areas out over the sea, but did not fire on the airliner. "No others involved", the Pierce County Sheriff said.

Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, said on Twitter that preliminary information suggests the crash occurred because the man was "doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills".

The Horizon Air Q400 plane of Alaska Airlines was taken by an employee from the airport which resulted in interruption of air traffic at the airport.

"Apparently this was a plane that was stolen from SeaTac Airport".

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The aircraft was stolen at about 8pm, Alaska Airlines said it was in a "maintenance position" and not scheduled for a passenger flight.

29-year-old Richard Russell, a ramp agent for Horizon Air, stole one of the companies aircraft and took it for a joy ride.

Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland airbase.

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by to F-15s.

The plane went through several 100-foot-high lines of trees and was fragmented from the crash into pieces tiny enough to pick up, NTSB Western Pacific Region chief Debra Eckrote said Sunday. Investigators headed Saturday to the crash site to recover the plane's data recorders and Russell's remains as part of a criminal probe, authorities said. It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. He flew it for an hour, followed by two armed F-15 jets from OR that the military scrambled, before he crashed.

The plane was chased by military aircraft, witnesses said.

"I lift a lot of bags".

Performing barrel roles and flips before a fatal crash on the Ketron Island.

NBC reported that the man expressed distress about his mental health while communicating with the air traffic control tower. While in the air, he joked for almost 20-minutes with an air traffic control agent, but also called himself "just a broken guy" who was likely disappointing the many people who care about him.

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