Horizon Air Q-400 aircraft similar to last night’s stolen plane
Photo credit: Alaska Airlines, Inc.
– Editor’s note:
The two sonic booms in a cloudless sky heard in the Yelm area last night (Friday, August 10 just before 8pm) were from two F-15’s scrambled from Portland, OR. to intercept an empty, stolen commercial aircraft that took-off from Sea-Tac International Airport at 7:32pm. The aircraft eventually crashed not far from Yelm near Steilacoom. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement indicating the plane was not shot down.
– “Sea-Tac Horizon Air employee steals airplane, does stunts before crashing near Tacoma”
“A 29-year-old man stole a Horizon Air passenger plane from Sea-Tac International Airport and took off on Friday night, circling the area for a short time and performing stunts while being chased by military jets before crashing near Tacoma.
“The unnamed man flying the twin-engine turboprop engaged in an hour-long back and forth negotiation with air traffic control where he mentioned not intending to land the aircraft, before the fiery crash on Ketron Island in North Pierce County, just south of Tacoma.
“Reportedly no passengers or other personnel on board, but firefighters are still combing through the wreckage.
“Witnesses report that the employee, who identified himself to authorities as a ground service crew worker, did loops in the air around Pierce County before crashing. The crash started a few small fires in the area, which West Pierce Fire Department upgraded to a two-alarm fire at 10:44 p.m., sending more units to the area,” by Zosha Millman, SeattlePI.
– Click here for a condensed version of the pilot’s audio with Air Traffic Control, and click here for more footage, and more from The Olympian.
– “Update: 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2018 –
A STATEMENT FROM ALASKA AIR GROUP CEO BRAD TILDEN AND HORIZON AIR CEO GARY BECK”
Brad Tilden: “There was an incident late yesterday involving the unauthorized operation of one of our aircraft that took off from Sea-Tac around 8 p.m.
“We are still gathering facts, but at this point we understand there was only one person aboard, an employee of Horizon Air, who was operating the aircraft. I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident. Our heart is heavy for the family and friends of the person involved.
“We’re working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened, working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. We are giving those investigators our full support and cooperation.
“With these investigations underway, our focus will remain on supporting the family of the individual involved, the broader Alaska and Horizon family, and our communities and guests.
“We will keep the public updated on our blog, where we’ll post updates as information becomes available.”
CEO, Alaska Air Group
Click here for updates.