A plane crashed on Puget island on Friday after an unauthorized takeoff yesterday from Washington’s Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) International Airport. No passengers are believed to have been on the plane, and no witness is believed to have been injured by the crash. The Seattle Times reported that the suspect was an employee for Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, in Sumner, Washington. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the suspect was acting alone, and that this was not an act of terrorism. The suspect was a 29 year-old “suicidal male” referred to as Rich. It is believed that the suspect has died following the crash.
The suspect could communicate with the air traffic controllers using the air traffic control scanner. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the suspect admits, “I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess.”
In response to being given instructions on piloting the plane, he responded, “Nah, I mean, I don’t need that much help. I’ve played some video games before.” After being told to land the plane safely, the man said, “Aww-right…dam*it…I don’t know man! I don’t know! I don’t want to. I was kinda hoping that was gonna be it. Ya know?”
Alaska Airlines reports that the aircraft was stolen around 8 PM last night, and that it was in a “maintenance position”, with no passenger flights scheduled for it in the near future. The airlines also reported that there was no damage to structures on the ground due to the crash of the Q400, though it did start a few fires.
North American Aerospace Defense Command had launched two F-15s to intercept the stolen aircraft, in hopes of redirecting it to over the Pacific before it crashed on Ketron Island. The investigation has been handed off to the FBI.
This incident transpired in real time online, with official updates and supposed witness accounts being made over Twitter. Utilizing Twitter as well, Washington governor Jay Inslee said, “There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight’s tragic incident of a stolen Horizon Airline plane. The responding fighter pilots flew alongside the aircraft and were ready to do whatever was needed to protect us, but in the end the man flying the stolen plane crashed,” and continuing, “I want to thank the Air National Guard from Washington and Oregon for scrambling jets to keep Washingtonians safe. Those pilots are trained for moments like tonight and showed they are ready and capable.”
Caiman Cotton is a Lead Contributor for theDailyLead.