Trump 'monitoring' the stolen plane situation

A Twitter user took video of the plane before it crashed

A Twitter user took video of the plane before it crashed

Officials say the "suicidal" airline employee stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane and took off from Sea-Tac Friday night before crashing into a small island.

Alaska Airlines and other planes sit on the tarmac at Sea-Tac International Airport Friday evening, August 10, 2018, in SeaTac, Wash.

Alaska Airlines confirmed the aircraft belonged to its subsidiary Horizon Air and was a Bombardier Dash-8 (Q-400) turboprop aircraft that likely had no passengers on board.

"Okay this insane. A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower", tweeted Ben Schaechter, a passenger on an airplane that was taxiing to take off before the incident.

A U.S. airline employee who stole an empty plane from an airport and crashed it into nearby island has been described by police as "suicidal". "Was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills (that) caused crash into Island", the sheriff's office said.

Brad Tilden, the chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group - the airline's parent company - said several federal agencies are investigating the incident.

Around 8: 15 p.m., multiple viewers of our sister station in Seattle, KING 5, called to report a hijacked airplane, saying an apparent pilot or airport worker took off with an aircraft.

Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but "were not involved in the crash", local officials said.

Normal operations at the airport were interrupted briefly, the airport said.

Flights out of Sea-Tac, the largest commercial airport in the Pacific Northwest, were temporarily grounded during the drama.

Sheriff's officials say the employee was "suicidal" and there is no connection to terrorism.

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And there was no indication that the incident was an act of terror, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor told KIRO7 news station in Seattle.

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he is "just a broken guy".

He said he didn't want to disappoint them but that he was "just a broken guy, got a dew screws loose, I guess".

"I would like to apologise to each and every one of them".

A video uploaded to social media showed an aircraft matching a Q400's profile flying above a rural area, followed by a fighter jet.

"This is probably jail time for life, huh?" he asks.

His motive is not clear, but audio between the cockpit and air traffic control indicates the man was in emotional distress. The F-15s were scrambled from Portland and were not involved in the crash.

"Really tough. But more than that, the tragedy is what strikes me", he said.

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees".

As two fighter pilots flew behind and closed in on the Q400, Richard crash-landed the plane in a cloud of smoke. "I would hope it is for a guy like me".

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