Regional turboprop aircraft stolen at Seattle-Tacoma, taken for seeming joyride, reportedly downed; *UPDATE* Audio clips

Regional turboprop aircraft stolen at Seattle-Tacoma, taken for seeming joyride, reportedly downed; *UPDATE* Audio clips
Stolen plane from Seattle-Tacoma heads for final descent on 10 Aug 2018. Twitter video

[Updates at the bottom. – J.E.]

This is a very developing story.

It appears to have happened in the last hour and half, or since 8 PM Pacific Daylight Time (11 PM EDT).  A mid-size aircraft, described in some reports as a Q400 turboprop passenger plane (Bombardier), was stolen from Seattle-Tacoma international airport.  Initial reports suggested the thief literally took off in the plane and was flying around the local Seattle area.  But see below.

F-15s from the 142nd Fighter Wing at the Portland (OR) ANG Air Base were scrambled to intercept the aircraft.  Reports that the aircraft had crashed at or near a golf course near Chambers Bay erupted right around 9 PM PDT.

This tweep had video.

There is no information as to whether the plane crashed of its own accord or was shot down by F-15s.

This guy, who is at the airport, says the plane was “hijacked” by a Horizon employee, who didn’t know how to land the plane.

That would sound like a mid-air theft or takeover of the aircraft.  But I stress we don’t have confirmed particulars at this point.

This guy posted the cluster at SEATAC while the runways were closed to takeoffs and landings.

Some tweets seem to suggest a shift in comms frequency during the F-15 intercept, away from an openly monitorable channel.  I haven’t seen any confirmation of that.

It’s 2018. More later if there’s anything substantial to report.

*UPDATE*: Worth adding: a series of tweeted audio clips from Broadcastify. By the time I was into the tweets on this topic, the audio other people were listening to seemed to have terminated.  This is a thread; you can click through to it to hear more clips.

It definitely sounds like this guy (“Rich”) had a break of some kind. He doesn’t necessarily sound drunk or slurred to me. Very sad and hard to listen to; it’s probable that he didn’t make it. No word I’ve seen about recovery at the crash site yet, and it’s dark now.

*UPDATE 2*: Emergency vehicles are at the scene of the crash.

AP now has a report up.  They’re citing Alaska Airlines saying the plane was stolen on the ground, did an unauthorized takeoff, and was empty other than the thief, who is said to be “an airline employee” (implicitly Alaska Airlines, but it’s not fully clear).  A separate police radio report cited in a tweet has him as a 29-year-old male.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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