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UPDATED: Alaska Airlines Q400 Turboprop Stolen, Crashes: Here’s The Latest…

An Alaska Airlines Q400 (like the one seen in this photo) crashed after being stolen from SEATAC International Airport in Seattle.

An Alaska Airlines Horizon Q400 (tail number N449QX) was stolen this evening from Seattle’s SEATAC International Airport by a 29 year-old individual named “Rich”. The aircraft departed SEATAC International and was spotted flying erratic maneuvers around the Seattle area. Two F-15s from the Oregon Air National Guard were directed to intercept the aircraft. In a video shot by an eyewitness, you can see the Q400 flying low and fast with a F-15 tracking the rogue aircraft from above. The Q400 later crashed on Ketron Island in the southern part of Puget Sound. Alaska Airlines confirmed the crash in a tweet (see below).

At Avgeekery, we’re more than just a news/hobby blog. We also are a community of people who love aviation and want to share that passion with others. Stories like this are tragic and heartbreaking. Earlier today, we posted this on our Facebook page. We think it is also appropriate to share.

Here’s what we know so far…

Update four 12:15am 8/11/2018

The FBI is taking lead on the investigation with the NTSB to support.

Alaska Airlines posted the following information on their blog:

Update: 11:54 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2018
Alaska Airlines believes a ground service agent employed by Horizon Air was the individual responsible for flying the Horizon Q400 without clearance from Sea-Tac International Airport around 8 p.m. tonight.

The plane, which was taken from a maintenance position and was not scheduled for passenger flight, crashed about an hour later in a wooded area on Ketron Island in rural Pierce County. No ground structures were involved at the crash site.

Military jets were scrambled from Portland, but it does not appear that these jets were involved in the crash of the Horizon aircraft.

This individual who took the aircraft, who has not yet been positively identified until remains are examined, is believed to have been the only person on the plane when the plane was taken from a maintenance position at Sea-Tac.

First responders are at the crash site. Appropriate government agencies, including NTSB, FAA and FBI, have been notified.

Update three 11:27pm 8/10/2018

Video was posted by John Waldron on Facebook of the Q400’s flight.  In one of the clips you can clearly see the aircraft performing dangerous aerobatics. The turboprop pulled out of a loop just 100 feet above the sound. Click on the link to view the video.

Update two 11:06pm 8/10/2018

Horizon Air’s Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen posted a video statement on YouTube.  In her statement she said that the hijacker was believed to be a Horizon employee.  She also said they think he was the only person onboard the aircraft.

Update one 10:52pm 8/10/2018

Here is a compilation with most of the audio from the stolen aircraft.

Original post:

“Ive got alot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this.”

It is believed that the hijacker was the only person onboard the aircraft. In a series of captured audio by Twitter user @jwsthomson, a man named Rich speaks with the controller multiple times regarding his predicament.  He appeared to be very emotional at times while also acknowledging that his behavior was far from acceptable.

The person who stole the aircraft asked if Alaska would make him a pilot if he landed it.

His aircraft was low on fuel.

Video of the rouge aircraft

Video was taken by witnesses of the scene shortly after the crash

Twitter user @iRVvyBaun posted video of the scene just seconds after the crash. So far no video of the actual crash has emerged.

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Written by Avgeekery

We are avgeeks, a ragtag group of people who live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream about aviation. Avgeekery.com is that little corner on the web where we share pictures, post interesting facts and unabashedly share our passion for all things aviation.

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