Anchorage woman recalls airport experience during plane theft at SeaTac

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The family of a man who authorities say stole a plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and later crashed it called him a faithful husband, loving son and good friend.

Scott Adams, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire and Rescue, said about 10:30 p.m. the crash had started a grass fire, and that two fire engines, a medic unit and a command unit were at the site, along with firefighting staff from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"I've got a lot of people that care about me", the man said in audio obtained from Air Traffic Control radio communications.

At one point, he said: "Hey do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?"

"The guy didn't know how to fly or intentionally did stunts over Anderson Island, and crashed into Ketron Island", he said, adding that the FBI is now involved in the investigation.

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 the two fighter jets following the turboprop airplane.

"This is not a terrorist incident".

"An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound".

The stolen plane was a twin-engine turboprop Q400 belonging to Horizon Air, its parent company Alaska Airlines said on Twitter. Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the man "did something foolish and may well have paid with his life". "We are working back ground on him now", the Pierce County Sheriff wrote.

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She said the plane was "highly fragmented" and the wings were detached from the fuselage. "I've played some video games before", the man responds.

The couple traveled to Puerto Rico earlier this year, where Hannah Instagrammed a photo of them sitting on the beach with the caption: 'I'm so thankful for this man!'

It is unclear how he attained the skills to do loops in the aircraft before crashing about an hour after taking off, authorities said. "Never really knew it until now", said Richard Russell.

"Congratulations", an air traffic controller says, "you did that, now let's try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground".

The flight lasted about 75 minutes, and ended when he crashed into the small island after being chased by military jets. "I met Hannah in Coos Bay, Oregon in 2010 while we were both going to school", the about me section says.

Shortly before crashing into Ketron Island, Russell said he was hoping to "have this moment of serenity".

"Safety is our number one goal", Alaska Airlines CEO Mr Tilden said.

After the plane approached Ketron Island, Waldron saw a thick column of smoke followed by a loud explosion, he said. Whether or not "Rich" realized it, the national guard had scrambled a pair of F-15 fighters to protect the airports in case he made any threatening moves toward one of them.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this morning that President Donald Trump is "monitoring the situation".

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