Suicidal airline employee steals plane at Seatac and crashes on Ketron Island


A 29-year-old man stole a plane with no one else on board from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport late Friday before crashing on a nearby island, authorities said.

The man was a resident of Pierce County, Wash., and “acted alone,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department tweeted, describing him as “suicidal.”

Alaska Airlines said it “believes” the man was a ground service agent working for Horizon Air. He took off without clearance at around 8 p.m. local time before crashing about an hour later, the company said in a statement.

The plane was in a “maintenance position,” the company said, and was not scheduled for any passenger flights. Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines.

Reporter Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network circled Ketron Island, the site of the crash landing, by boat Friday night. “There was smoke. We saw flames on the hillside, police boats circling, helicopters overhead,” he told NPR’s Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Two military F-15s chased the plane “within a few minutes of theft of plane” and “kept plane out of harms way and people on ground safe,” the sheriff’s department said. The F-15s were scrambled from Portland and were not involved in the crash.

The Bombardier Q400 is a turboprop airplane made for shorter flights, according to Alaska Airlines. It has 76 coach seats and is about 108 feet long.

The airport says normal operations at Sea-Tac have resumed.

According to UPI the pilot died in the crash.

Daily Mail

The man who hijacked an Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on Friday night taking it for a joyride before crashing on an island in a ball of flames is a married 29-year-old Horizon Air employee who dreamed of joining the military.

The mechanic, referred to as ‘Rich’ and ‘Richard’ by air traffic controllers, was born in Key West, Florida and moved to Alaska as a child.

He met his wife in Oregon in 2010 while they were in school and married one year later. The newlyweds then opened a bakery together, which is now closed. They moved to Seattle in 2015.

While living in Seattle, Rich started working for Horizon Airlines with the hopes of working in a management position. He also had dreams of becoming an officer in the military.

His main role at the airport was to unload bags, and seems to have had no flying experience. He was also not permitted to fly planes.

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36 Responses to Suicidal airline employee steals plane at Seatac and crashes on Ketron Island

  1. Col.(R) Ken says:

    This was very easy too do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. auscitizenmom says:

    From what I understood from a guy who was interviewed on F&F this morning, they don’t seem to have ways to stop this from happening, but they have ways to get the military jets off the ground fast to chase the stolen plane. 🙄


  3. czarowniczy says:

    Well, you can certainly see how badly this could have gone had we not had all of the heavily increased security after 911. I also like the Daily Mail’s quote about his main job being unloading bags and not having permission to fly airplanes…’stealing’ one seems to imply that, no?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Gil says:

    Well he himself said he had a few screws loose and is broken. I guess he just gave up, even knowing he had people who loved him. What a way to go. Glad he didnt kill anyone.

    The article has a lot of the audio.


    • Wooly Covfefe says:

      I have a few screws loose, and am broken, too.

      I feel for this guy, yet live vicariously through him in some ways. He had a whole lot of fun before he died.

      Also glad he didn’t kill anyone. At one point in the audio he mentions being a “white guy”, and that Alaska probably won’t give him a job (because of that) and that if he lands successfully, he’ll just be roughed up.

      It’s probably a good thing that not only did I forget how to get a plane into the air, but that I also forgot how to be suicidal and narcissistic. Life can suck, and adventures can be had, but still… kudos to the press for recognizing the “loop the loop” maneuver. I’m sure that’s the proper terminology. Gotta watch out for the white guys, though.

      Probably learned to fly with GTA games, and his limited experience at the airport. Didn’t want to land (per se). Didn’t want to kill infidels, and didn’t end up killing anyone but himself and maybe a few chipmunks and birds.

      I learned to ride crotch rocket motorcycles with GTA games. Still, I’ll never get on one.

      I learned how to fly a plane in High School. Forgot how to do algebra in the interim.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gil says:

        I can believe that there are millions of white males who understand his banzai approach to the end of his life. I understand being the underdog too. Just sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovely says:

        I won’t listen to it Wooly, it is something that I could never un-hear. 🙏🏼❤️


      • lovely says:

        Morning wooly, 🙂 , I just want to let you know that Col. said “Wooly, you have a lot more going than this guy…… it ended up under my reply so I didn’t want you to miss it.

        You’re a light Wooly, even in your own darkness -you know that, you know that you have a whole lot more to do, something particular to you Wooly, your life has been on hold long enough, time to let go on grab onto everything that is beautiful around you.

        Alcoholism sucks but it is not going to be that which defines you. Remember when the lightbulb clicked and you thought “What the heck am I doing with “Taqiyya” for my user name?” And then you changed your name to Wooly Flox and then Wooly Covefefe.

        You never were not Wooly. Wooly far more captures who you are and you were Wooly even when you went by Taqiyya, Taqiyya is not part of you it was something you used until you had a lightbulb moment. alcoholism is the same thing, the disease is part of your genetic makeup but you own the disease there are steps you can take to change it, actually alter the course it is taking in your mind, body and soul.

        Monday is your lightbulb moment Wooly, it’s going suck, it’s gonna be painful and it’s not gonna be fun but that light at the end of the tunnel is you Wooly you’ll get you back, make friends with yourself, treat yourself like you would if you met yourself in a kicked and heard your life story for the first time, treat yourself like you are someone else who is reaching out to you.

        Love ya’ Wools, you’ve got this, there a lot of people who need your light and you are number one on that list.

        Liked by 2 people

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