Family, friends remember former Wasilla man who stole commercial airplane

Ann Santiago
August 14, 2018

The spectacular theft of a 76-seat plane from the Seattle airport by a ground crew employee is prompting an industrywide review of how to thwart such insider security threats, though it remains unclear what steps airlines might take.

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

He then said he would perform a last barrel role before he crashed into a sparsely populated area of Ketron Island.

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

Alaska Airlines said: 'We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. A year and a half ago, SeaTac added a policy that requires all employees to go through physical security screening, including magnetometer scans, before they enter secure areas of the airport, Gregoire said.

"We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted. "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.

Within minutes of authorities learning a plane was stolen from Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle on Friday night, fighter jets from Portland were called to intercept the plane.


The airport ground service agent also apologised to his friends and family, calling himself a "broken guy".

Authorities say the man who stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane from Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle was a 3.5-year Horizon employee and had clearance to be among aircraft.

John Waldron, who took dramatic video of the stolen plane flying in a loop, told CNN that he was out for an evening stroll when he saw two fighter jets following the turboprop plane.

"This is truly 1 in a million experience that doesn't mean we can not learn from it and ensure this type of tragedy won't happen again", Gregoire said.

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. Today, the aircraft crashed approximately 50 kilometers from the airport, near the island of Ketron, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to UNIAN. Horizon Air is a division of Alaskan that flies shorter routes in the western US.

The flight data recorder and components of the cockpit voice recorder have been recovered and are with the National Transportation Safety Board, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No structures on the ground were damaged, Alaska Airlines said.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER