Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Possible Plane Hijacking at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

An incident at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport led to a temporary grounding of all flights on Friday night Security alert at Seattle's SeaTac airport after plane took off without permission
Ebony Burgess | 11 August, 2018, 17:16

A plane has crashed in south Puget Sound after an airline employee stole a plane and took off from Seattle Tacoma International Airport on Friday night, police said.

Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer of Horizon Air, a sister carrier of Alaska Airlines, said that at about 8 p.m.an employee of the airline undertook an unauthorized take-off of a Q400 twin-engine turboprop airplane.

Normal operations resumed at Seattle-Tacoma airport by about 9:30 p.m. local time, airport officials said.

The two F-15 fighter jets seen intercepting the plane were scrambled out of Portland after the Federal Aviation Administration requested Department of Defense assistance, the military's North American Air Defense Command said.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office reported the airline employee who stole the plane was a suicidal 29-year-old man from Pierce County, WA.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed on Ketron Island, southwest of Tacoma, Washington. PCSO tweeted that he "was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash into Island".

Alaska Airlines confirmed there was an unauthorized takeoff of a Horizon Air Q400, and that there were no passengers or crew aboard. It has 76 coach seats and is about 108 feet long.

"I'm not quite ready to bring it down just yet", the pilot says. "It clearly seemed immediately like there was a plane crash", he said.

It's So Difficult - Mauricio Pochettino On Tottenham's Transfer Prospects
We hope he's still our player by Friday", Villa manager Steve Bruce told BBC West Midlands earlier this week. It's a massive effort from the club.

"I've got a lot of people that care about me".

"But I do know there were people on the plane that were kind of panicked", he said. "We heard the jet because our windows were down while we were waiting in the ferry line to go to Anderson Island which is adjacent to Ketron Island".

"He said the man, a Pierce County resident, was acting alone". We believe there are no passengers on board.

Earlier, Alaska Airlines, the parent company of Horizon Air whose plane was stolen, tweeted a statement. The Horizon airplane was followed by two F15 jets which attempted to escort the stolen aircraft back to Sea-Tac.

His motive is not clear, but audio between the cockpit and air traffic control indicates the man was in emotional distress.

"It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", he said.

Air traffic controllers and pilots could be heard discussing a "ground stop" and dealing with a backlog of aircraft.

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