SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines says there was an “unauthorized takeoff” of an airplane and witnesses reported a jet being chased by military planes near Sea-Tac International Airport in Washington state.
The airline said the plane was a Horizon Air Q400 and it believed no passengers were on board.
Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft near the airport.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested that a mechanic had stolen the aircraft. The tweet said the crash may have been caused by the mechanic “doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills.”
Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.
The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.
Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed. Weird times. pic.twitter.com/Ra4LcIhwfU
— bmbdgty (@drbmbdgty) August 11, 2018
Apparently someone stole a plane from SeaTac? Saw two fighter jets fly overhead then smoke pic.twitter.com/w0bveGUJQH
— McKenna Brown (@mckenna_brown) August 11, 2018
An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.
— Sea-Tac Airport (@SeaTacAirport) August 11, 2018