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'Suicidal' mechanic stole empty plane then crashed into island after F15 chase

'Suicidal' mechanic stole empty plane then crashed into island after F15 chase

A stolen commercial airline from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night crashed outside Chambers Bay golf course.

"It is highly fragmented", she said of the plane.

In a series of tweets, he said F15s were scrambled out of Portland and arrived within a few minutes of the theft of plane.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is monitoring the situation, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning.

Officials with Alaska Airlines confirmed the plane as a Bombardier Q400 that belongs to Horizon Air.

Russell is then heard on audio recording: "Nah, I mean, I don't need that much help".

"I don't think there will be a knee-jerk reaction, but everyone is going to look a little bit more carefully about how aeroplanes are secured and who has access to them when they are on the ground", Prof Bamber said.

The theft of an empty turboprop plane by an airline worker at Sea-Tac International Airport who performed risky loops before crashing into a remote island in Puget Sound illustrated what aviation experts have long known: One of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel is airline or airport employees causing mayhem.

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"Going to try and do a barrel roll, and if that goes good, going to go nose down, call it a night", said Richard Russell as he talked with air traffic controllers at Seattle's SeaTac International Airport.

Horizon Air chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen issued a video statement describing the incident before the plane crashed.

Sheriff's officials say a man who stole an Alaska Airlines plane from an airport in Washington state was "suicidal" and there is no connection to terrorism.

The freaky incident involving a worker who authorities said was suicidal points to one of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel: airline or airport employees causing mayhem. "Saw two fighter jets fly overhead then smoke".

Russell, 29, worked for Horizon Air's ground crew as a member of the tow team, Christenson said.

The Plane was a Turboprop Q400 model capable of carrying 76 passengers. Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West. How he was able to steal the plane and fly it are now under investigation by the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Experts say it's common for airlines to have multiple people working together while moving a plane so the question is how did Russell tow the aircraft alone and get into the plane unnoticed.