Stolen Airplane From Sea-Tac

A Horizon Q400

A Horizon Q400

A turboprop passenger plane stolen from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and trailed by two fighter jets crashed Friday night on Ketron Island, off the shore from Steilacoom, authorities said.

Sea-Tac officials said the airline employee had "conducted an unauthorised takeoff without passengers".

The plane involved was a Horizon Air Q400 with no passengers on board, tweeted Alaskan Airlines.

No other passenger was reported on board at the time of the crash in Puget Sound.

The Q400 did a loop the loop and nearly crashed into Chambers Bay, and then flew further south chased by two F-15 Eagle fighter jets from the Air National Guard in Portland.

The plane went down on Ketron Island, which is about 40 miles southwest of the airport, the sheriff's office said. "Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees". The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

Video showed the passenger aeroplane making an unlikely upside-down aerial loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the man "did something foolish and may well have paid with his life".

FBI Seattle announced on Twitter it would work with local authorities to investigate the accident but said evidence does "not suggest a terrorist threat".

Air traffic controllers tried to talk the agent into landing but he refused. "We are working background on him now", the sheriff's department tweeted.

The plane crashed at about 9:30 p.m. on Ketron Island, about 40 miles south of Sea-Tac Airport.

The employee appeared to be in distress as he spoke to air traffic control while flying the stolen plane, according to a tower broadcast of the conversation.

A witness on the ground, Bryan Sichley, said he was at Chambers Bay in University Place and saw a plane nose dive after being chased by two fighter jets. Only the unknown pilot was on the plane.

In audio recordings, air traffic controllers could be heard trying to guide the man to land the plane. The sheriff said he was probably killed in the crash.

"Told F-15s made it within a few minutes of theft of plane".

"We can see evidence of fire on the hillside here on this island", he said in a reporter standup.

This is a developing story, more information to come.

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