Alaska Airlines worker steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes nearby

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Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft near the airport. It's understood he may have been in uniform when he boarded the aircraft.

On social media pages, Russell said he lived in Sumner, Washington, and was married in 2012.

Gary Beck, CEO of Horizon Air, said it wasn't clear how the man knew to start the engine, which requires a series of switches and levers.

On behalf of the family, we are stunned and heartbroken.

"It may seem hard for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man", the statement said.

Mathews said Russell was a faithful and loving husband, friend, and son, and he didn't believe Russell's intent was to hurt anyone with his actions.

Wordpress Richard Russell in a photo from his personal blog. He moved to Alaska when he was seven years old, according to one of his blog posts.

The unnamed man flying the twin-engine turboprop engaged in an hour-long back and forth negotiation with air traffic control where he mentioned not intending to land the aircraft, before the fiery crash on Ketron Island in North Pierce County, just south of Tacoma.

Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland air base.

"Commercial aircraft are complex machines", Beck said.

Flames pour from the crash site. A Cessna 150 is a two-seat civilian aircraft.

No passengers were on board and there were no reports of injuries on the ground.

Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a news conference in Steilacoom.that the pilot was "probably deceased". "This might have been a joyride gone terribly wrong".

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They called a second alarm, Adams said, to get more crews out to the island.

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the man who stole a plane from Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle before crashing it into a small, nearby island. Two military F-15s were scrambled to pursue the plane, but were not involved in the crash.

Video taken by a bystander showed the airplane making a loop, then flying low over a body of water.

The Federal Aviation Administration said: 'We can't confirm anything at this time.

Emergency services at the airport, following the theft.

"Alright (man's name), congratulations, you did that", an air traffic controller can be heard on recording. I don't know man!

"I was thinking, like, I'm going to have this moment of serenity, take in all the sights". It appeared the ground worker used a tow vehicle to rotate the plane 180 degrees on the tarmac before climbing into the cockpit, taxiing to a runway and taking off, Alaska executives said.

"I'm down to 2,100 (pounds) [952 kilos]", he says, "I don't know what the burnage is like on takeoff, but it burned quite a bit faster than I expected".

"I wouldn't want to do that".

But investigators said Saturday they still anticipate they will be able to recover data recorders from the aircraft.

"I got a lot of people that care about me", he said on the recording. At one point, Russell says he is a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose".

One witness filmed the plane doing a large loop-the-loop, which they first thought was part of an air show rehearsal.