The man who stole – and crashed – an airplane from Sea-Tac International Airport after taking it on a dramatic unauthorized flight was suicidal and not a terrorist, according to the Pierce County Sheriff.
Just before 10 p.m. on the west coast, the Pierce County Sheriff confirmed that the plane had crashed.
The Pierce County Sheriff wrote on Twitter, “Stolen horizon airplane crashed into Ketron island. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane. Was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash into Island.” The Sheriff’s Department added, “Two military F 15 chased plane but was not involved in crash” and confirmed, “No passengers on plane.”
Wrote the Sheriff: “This is not a terrorist incident. Confirmed info .. this is a single suicide male. We know who he is. No others involved.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Videos & Photos Showed the Crash Site
Video showing the moments that the stolen plane crashed outside of Seattle 😳 pic.twitter.com/ZkHvhouHlN
— Kris Hanson (@KrisHansonRCF) August 11, 2018
Videos and photos circulated on social media showing the plane in the air and also what appeared to be the crash site, where plumes of smoke swirled in the air.
@KING5Seattle here’s a video of the hijacked plane and fighter escort from Steilacoom in the ferry line for anderson Island pic.twitter.com/8fgAUe05xv
— Kai Simpson (@Kai_AHS) August 11, 2018
Sea-Tac airport also confirmed the plane was down. “An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed,” the airport wrote.
An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.
— Sea-Tac Airport (@SeaTacAirport) August 11, 2018
The aircraft was stolen, according to Air Traffic Control audio, by a man named “Rich” or “Rick.” This man also archived some of the audio:
I’m listening through the archive of the radio chatter on the #seatac hijacking. Below are some of the clips. pic.twitter.com/ziBAYv7cgn
— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018
Another Twitter user wrote, “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.”
That Twitter user then posted this video:
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
ABC News reporter Jeffrey Cook wrote, “A senior federal aviation source tells ABC News that a ground employee got a hold of an empty Horizon Air Dash-8 — ATC was in communication with the pilot and was able to vector the pilot away from the city. NORAD scrambled fighters. Aircraft crashed on Ketron Island.”
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