'Suicidal' mechanic steals, crashes empty plane from Seattle airport

Updated: Aug 12, 2018, 12:35 IST | Agencies

Witnesses say the plane did a complete loop after taking off from Seattle airport

'Suicidal' mechanic steals, crashes empty plane from Seattle airport
Military jets scrambled to chase the stolen plane (in circle). Pics/AFP

A "suicidal" mechanic stole an empty passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport, took it for a brief flight that included an aerial loop, then crashed it and died in an incident officials said was unrelated to terrorism.

Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but "were not involved in the crash," local officials said. Video taken by a bystander yesterday showed the passenger airplane making an unlikely upside-down loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern US state of Washington.

Military jets

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Flames lit up the night as they spread from the burning wreckage to nearby trees. Officials said there were no victims on the ground.

The stolen plane was a twin engine turboprop Q400 airplane belonging to its sister carrier Horizon Air. "This is not a terrorist incident," Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's office said. The suspect was identified as a 29-year-old airline mechanic and local resident who "acted alone," Troyer added, confirming that there were "no passengers on the plane" when it crashed.

Why did he steal the plane?
In audio recordings of the incident, the man can be heard talking to air traffic controllers as they try to guide him to land the plane. At one point, he apologises and says he is a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose." Officials described the man as suicidal. It did not elaborate.

The F-15 chase
Within minutes of the plane's takeoff, the military scrambled two F-15 jets from Oregon to follow it, authorities said. They pursued the aircraft before it went down on Ketron Island, between Tacoma and Olympia.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Lesser known facts about the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK