A 29-year-old mechanic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reportedly hijacked a Horizon Air Q400 with no passengers on board, performed aerobatic maneuvers, and then crashed into the ground a short while later with at least one, possibly two F-15 fighter jets in hot pursuit, according to an unconfirmed report by Fox News


The sheriff’s office declared that “this is not a terrorist incident,” adding that the pilot was a mechanic from an unknown airline who crashed either from doing stunts or because of a lack of flying abilities. 

A plume of smoke was reported near Ketron Island, Washington, after authorities received reports that a plane was stolen from Seattle Airport Friday night, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi said one of the USCG’s 45-foot rescue boats was headed to the scene.

The island is between Tacoma and Olympia, she said. –NBC News

The airport’s tower identified the suspect as “Rich,” and flights from SeaTac were reportedly halted according to passenger posts on social media. 

The pilot can be heard communicating with air traffic control, as recorded by Twitter user Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson).

“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me,” said the man. “It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never really knew it, until now.” 

In another segment, an air traffic control operator tells another individual “Right now he’s just flying around, and he just needs some help controlling the aircraft,” to which the man interjected “Nah, I mean, I don’t need that much help; I’ve played some video games before.”  (Full audio here)

The man then says “Ah, minimum wage. We’ll just chalk it up to that. Maybe that will grease the gears a little bit with the higher-ups.” 

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