Officials at the Sea-Tac Airport say an airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff in Washington state and has crashed. Only the unknown pilot was on the plane.
Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told the Bellingham Herald that information was preliminary regarding the developing incident.
Troyer said the man who stole the plane is a mechanic at the airport. He described him as a white male, age 29, who may have mental health problems.
“The guy didn’t know how to fly or intentionally did stunts over Anderson Island, and crashed into Ketron Island,” he said, adding that the FBI is now involved in the investigation.
Earlier Alaska Airlines reported an “unauthorized take-off” of an airplane and witnesses reported a jet being chased by military planes near Sea-Tac International Airport in Washington state. Two F-15 jets were scrambled in response to the stolen plane from the Oregon Air National Guard in Portland, Oregon.
The incident closed the Seattle airport to arrivals and departures for a short time, but flights have since returned to normal.
The airline tells The Associated Press that the plane was a Horizon Air Q400 and it believed no passengers were on board. The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.
Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.