Stolen Alaska Airlines plane crashes near Sea-Tac International Airport

The aircraft reportedly crashed near Ketron Island near the Chambers Bay Golf Course

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested that a mechanic had stolen the aircraft.

Law enforcement officials stand at a staging area at the ferry terminal in Steilacoom, after responding to a report of a smoke plume and possible plane crash. The F-15s were scrambled from Portland and were not involved in the crash.

Alaska Airlines, the parent company, confirmed that its Horizon Air Q400 "had an unauthorized takeoff from SeaTac around 8pm has gone down near Ketron Island in Pierce County, WA".

The plane belonged to Horizon Air, which is owned by Alaska Airlines.

The pilot of the stolen Horizon Airlines turboprop alternately expressed remorse for his actions and a desire to perform aerobatics as flew over Puget Sound on Friday, pursued by two F-15 fighters.

The newspaper describes him as sounding "carefree and wild" in the audio. He's been around Mount Rainier, now is going to Olympics. I don't know! I don't want to.

"Alright (man's name), congratulations, you did that", an air traffic controller can be heard on recording. Warning: some might find the following audio disturbing or triggering.

The controller said: "There is a runway just off to your right side in about a mile". "That's McChord" (meaning the military airfield at Joint Base Lewis-McChord).

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"I saw some really unhappy faces when we were walking through". We're trying to contact the military.

"I'm not quite ready to bring it down just yet", Rich said. I thought, oh, my god.

He concedes that 'this is probably jail time for life, huh? "I was kinda hoping that was gonna be it. Ya know?"

He told authorities on the ground he "would like to apologize" to people who cared about him. No one is departing as they work out an issue. "I'm a broken guy who had a few screws loose. Never knew it until now".

The takeoff happened around 8 p.m. local time. "Keep the aircraft nice and low". The Federal Aviation Administration reported about 9:30 p.m. that a plane crashed. He briefly turned away, then turned back and saw the explosion as the plane crashed.

Morse added that her mother, who lived closer to the crash site, texted about eight minutes later to say that her whole house shook.

Witnesses at the airport, posting on social media, said they were told that someone had stolen an aircraft.

"That's somebody's son or husband or daughter".

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