Associations Assist With Investigation After Seattle Hijacking

Alaska Airlines has confirmed an'unauthorised take-off in Seattle

The hijacking of a passenger plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by an airline employee on Friday was, by all accounts, nearly unprecedented.

"You couldn't even tell it was a plane except for some of the bigger sections, like the wing section", Eckrote said. According to ABC news, the plane had to be diverted away from the city by US Air Force fighter jet after it took off from Sea-Tac International Airport.

Fire crews were working on putting out the fire from the crash on Ketron Island in Puget Sound.

ATC Audio from the stolen Horizon Air Q400: "I think I am going to try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good then I am going to go nose down and call it a night". "They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did", Beck said.

Flight were delayed but normal operations have since resumed at Sea-Tac Airport.

"The greatest threat we have to aviation is the insider threat", Erroll Southers, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and transportation security expert, told The Associated Press.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also thanked the Air National Guard from Washington and OR for scrambling jets.

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

A sheriff's department spokesman said the man may have been suicidal but there was no terrorism connection.

Authorities said an airline employee had made "an unauthorised take-off" without any passengers on board.

Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland air base. Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.

"It would not be hard for someone to get into an airplane who was that determined to do it", said Shelley Walker, office manager at Revel Aviation.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft near the airport.

The airline was coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board, he said.

The family Richard Russell, 29, a ground service agent, otherwise known as Beebo, delivered a statement to the media on Saturday evening, via their friend Mike Matthews.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman said the agency was responding to a report of a smoke plume and possible plane crash.

The Q400 is a twin-prop aeroplane with up to 78 seats, depending on configuration.

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