Airline worker steals empty plane, crashes in into island

BREAKING NEWS: Horizon Air Q400 Hijacked from Seattle

Alaska Airlines confirmed there was an unauthorized takeoff of a Horizon Air Q400, and that there were no passengers or crew aboard.

He flew it for an hour, followed by two armed F-15 jets from OR that the military scrambled, before he crashed.

Alaska Airlines confirmed the incident - "there was 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".

President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is monitoring the situation, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning.

"He worked his shift yesterday and we believe he was in uniform", he added.

The FBI is leading the probe, which also includes the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. We know who he is.

There was no connection to terrorism and no others were involved, said Troyer.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400 doing large loops and other risky manoeuvres as the sun set on Puget Sound. There were no passengers aboard.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed.

Mr Southers said the man could have caused mass destruction.

Scott Adams, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire and Rescue, said about 10:30 p.m. the crash had started a grass fire, and that two fire engines, a medic unit and a command unit were at the site, along with firefighting staff from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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"If this guy had evil intent, I'm not sure there's any way the F-15s could have stopped him from flying into Safeco Field", Curtis said. Russell said he was having a "blast" and had learned to fly from video games.

Video footage on social media showed a large plane flying above the Seattle area with an F-15 following it.

Video showed fiery flames amid trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry.

With F-15 jets not far behind him, the man's intentions become clear as he spoke to air traffic controllers who were trying to get the man to safely land the plane.

The stolen plane is a twin-engine turboprop designed for shorter distance flights.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said at a news conference Saturday in Seattle that the man, identified by sources familiar with the investigation as Richard Russell, was "fully credentialed" and authorized to be working near the aircraft.

The plane was a Q400, a Bombardier turboprop plane, one of about 40 the airline has in its fleet.

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

"They don't have any of that stuff", the air-traffic controller assures him. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. I was thinking, like, I'm going to have this moment of serenity, take in all the sights. "I'm a broken guy who had a few screws loose".

After a ride full of unsafe loop-the-loops moves and freaky conversation with the air traffic controllers, Richard wasn't able to land safely and crashed into a heavily wooded area on Ketron Island causing the jet became engulfed in flames.

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest.

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