Sea-Tac Airport Issues Statement After 'Suicidal Male' Crashes Plane

Airliner takes off without authorization at Sea-Tac crashes in Puget Sound	 	 	 			A Horizon Q400 | Source Alaska Airlines

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

The fighter planes intercepted the Q400 turboprop near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, NORAD said.

'This is probably jail time for life, huh? "Pilots kept plane out of harm's way and people on ground safe", the sheriff said on Twitter.

The couple traveled to Puerto Rico earlier this year, where Hannah Instagrammed a photo of them sitting on the beach with the caption: 'I'm so thankful for this man!' Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess.

Eckrote said it was very fortunate that the plane crashed in a relatively unpopulated island.

Two F-15 fighter jets were scrambled as "Rich" flew the passenger plane in an aerial loop, then headed south.

Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the sheriff's department, said on Twitter the man was suicidal and there was no connection to terrorism. The motive appears to be suicide and it was confirmed late Friday that it was not a terrorist act.

The 76-seat Horizon Air turboprop plane took off without authorization at 7:32 p.m. local time Friday, with Russell, who was not a pilot, at the controls, officials said.

The plane was a Horizon Air Q400, according to a statement from Horizon's partner airline Alaska Airlines.

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An FBI official said they were in touch with the deceased employee's family last night after the crash.

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

"The FBI continues to work with our state, local, and federal partners to gather a complete picture of what transpired with tonight's unauthorized Horizon aircraft takeoff and crash", the agency said.

A 3 ½ year employee of Horizon Air had specialized training and higher-level security clearance, helping him carry out his plan to steal a Horizon Air passenger jet from its parking spot at Sea-Tac Airport on Friday evening.

USA law enforcement officials are piecing together how an airline ground agent stole an empty plane. "No others involved", the office of the Pierce County Sheriff said.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden also issued a statement. The still unidentified man, who was a Horizon Air employee, is believed to have been the only person aboard the plane when it crashed.

Gary Howell, a Wasilla High track and field coach, said he remembered Russell as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player. The FBI is now investigating, while Alaska Air is cooperating with authorities and their own safety team to make sense of exactly what went down. Confirming this, the airport said, "No passengers were onboard during the incident and normal operations have resumed at the airfield".

"Dozens of personnel were out at the crash site, and co-workers and family members were being interviewed", he said.

Southers says that if the man knew how to do loops he likely had the skills to target people on the ground.

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