Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Horizon Air hijacking: 'pilot' performs stunts before crashing

Viewer image provided to KPTV Viewer image provided to KPTV
Russell Knight | 11 August, 2018, 12:39

A Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, reported to be hijacked, flies over Fircrest, Washington, the US, before crashing in the South Puget Sound, August 10, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Officials said there were no victims on the ground.

Two military F-15 jets were scrambled late Friday (Aug 10) after a "suicidal" airline worker stole and later crashed an empty passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport, local officials said.

"We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400", according to a statement by Horizon's parent company Alaska Airlines, posted at 9:16 p.m. Seattle time. It normally carries 76 passengers. "Pilots kept the plane out of harm's way and people on ground safe", the sheriff said on Twitter. Then he added, "T$3 his is a single suicide male". We know who he is.

The plane crashed on Ketron Island, said the sheriff's department in Pierce County, WA.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed near Ketron Island.

"They don't have any of that stuff", the air-traffic controller said.

It is unclear how the employee was able to taxi the plane on a runway and take off without authorisation. Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines.

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Earlier, the pilot alternately expressed remorse for his actions and a desire to perform aerobatics as flew around Puget Sound, pursued by the two F-15 fighters.

His first thought was that they were practicing for an air show. "I just heard it; it looked like a bomb".

Waldron said it seemed that the jets were chasing down the aeroplane. I think I might mess something up there too.

"Most terrorists don't do loops over the water".

"I was walking past Chambers Bay and I saw the jets coming down to the trees very close ..." a witness told KIRO 7.

"Saw a bright, pinpoint area of flame". "But holy smokes, I got to stop looking at the fuel, because it's going down quick". "I think he just crashed".

"Could you start a left turn and we'll take you down to the SE, please", the air traffic controller then asked. The identity and condition of the pilot are not known.

"I don't want to", Rich says in an elated tone.

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