Plane crashes after airline employee’s solo ‘unauthorized takeoff’ from Seattle airport

No passengers were onboard and normal operations have resumed at the airfield

The plane wasn't even scheduled to fly at the time of the incident, he said.

The sheriff said earlier that the employee was a airline mechanic, but the airline said he was a ground service agent.

"Every airport in the country is going to be looking" at whether current protocols need to be changed, Soucie said.

They called a second alarm, Adams said, to get more crews out to the island.

"To be honest with you, commercial aircraft are complex machines".

This will be a major learning event for the aviation industry, CNN aviation analyst Justin Green said.

An air traffic controller called the man "Rich", and tried to convince the man to land the airplane. It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this ...

"Got a few screws loose, I guess", he is heard saying in the recording. "Never really knew it until now".

They described the man as "suicidal". It did not elaborate.

"We're lucky it went down on a very unpopulated island", Eckrote said.

Later, a controller discusses getting a pilot on the radio to help the man control the aircraft. At one point, Russell told a controller he had played a lot of video games.

The man responds: "Awwww-right ... dammit. I don't know what the burnage is like on takeoff, but it burned quite a bit faster than I expected". "I want to go see that guy", Russell explains, according to audio obtained by Canadian journalist Jimmy Thomson.

He added: "I'm sorry about this, I hope it doesn't ruin your day [.]".

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The site on Ketron Island in Washington state where a plane crashed after it was stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport. The FBI said Friday night it was investigating the incident alongside other agencies.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400, a turboprop plane that seats 76 people, doing large loops and other unsafe stunts as the sun set on Puget Sound in Washington state.

The plane was pursued by military aircraft before it crashed on tiny Ketron Island, southwest of Tacoma, Washington. The jets were armed but did not open fire, North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman Cameron Hillier said by phone. The Department of Natural Resources said two acres burned.

Questions have been raised about how a plane can be stolen from a busy airport. It was a very small two prop plane commuter aircraft was stolen.

"I thought it was incredible and terrifying at the same time". He said it appears that Russell died in the crash and that there were no injuries on the ground, according to the Times.

"N$3 o signs of what happened, that's for sure", Hayes said. Fire trucks had to travel to the island by ferry to extinguish the blaze.

It wasn't immediately clear what training, if any, the man had in flying planes.

"It's very unusual", she said.

She added, "Yeah, he knew how to fly".

Officials said yesterday that to their knowledge, he wasn't a licensed pilot. While Russell was in the air performing hard maneuvers in the air Amy Leddy says her Alaska Airlines flight and the flights of hundreds of other passengers were delayed.

Tilden said the system in place is to credential and secure employees and air fields, but not planes. Eckrote said investigators would search the man's home and speak to his family and friends.

Debra Eckrote, NTSB regional chief, said investigators will focus on recovering the voice-data recorder and flight-data recorder from the wreckage.

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