Plane stolen from Seattle airport crashes, hijacker described as ‘suicidal male’

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Officials at the Sea-Tac International Airport in Washington state said on Friday night that an airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff in Washington state and crashed.

Alaska Airlines said there was an "unauthorized take-off" of an airplane and witnesses reported a jet being chased by military planes. A video of this has been posted to Twitter


Police described the rogue pilot as a 29-year-old "suicidal male" and air traffic control communications have been released. He was probably killed in the crash, the sheriff said.

The airline tells The Associated Press that the plane was a Horizon Air Q400 and it believed no passengers were on board.

Officials at Sea-Tac International Airport say an Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee and has crashed in Washington state.

Airport officials say in a tweet Friday night that an airline employee "conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers."

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft near the airport.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested that a mechanic had stolen the aircraft. The tweet said the crash may have been caused by the mechanic "doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills."

A Coast Guard spokeswoman said the agency was responding to a report of a smoke plume and possible plane crash. Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi said a 45-foot vessel was headed to the scene.

Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.

The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

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