Airline employee who stole plane from SeaTac Airport was 'authorized' to be near craft, officials say, citing 'no security violations'
The airline worker who stole a plane for an “unauthorized flight” at Seattle-Tacoma Global Airport on Friday earlier than crashing was once ready to “legitimately” get admission to the realm the place the craft was once held, officers stated in a news convention on Saturday. They stated they believe he was once the one particular person aboard.
“All people at Alaska and Horizon are deeply saddened through ultimate night time’s unauthorized flight with the Horizon Q400 airplane that resulted within the lack of existence for the person concerned,” stated Brad Tilden, leader govt of Alaska Airways. “All 23,000 people wish to categorical our trustworthy sympathy to his circle of relatives, his family members and his co-workers.”
On the news convention, officers with the FBI, Alaska Airways, Horizon Air and the airport (SeaTac) introduced an replace on how they believe occasions spread out.
Whilst refraining from confirming stories of the employee’s identification, officers stated he was once a floor carrier agent for Horizon Air and were hired there for greater than 3 years. Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska Airways. He had gone through a large number of background assessments and “was once totally credentialed,” officers stated.
“He had get admission to to that house legitimately,” stated Mike Ehl, director of operations at SeaTac. “It’s throughout the safety fence, and so no safety violations had been dedicated.”
Previous to the episode, which started round 7:30 p.m. native time, the Q400 airplane was once got rid of “from a upkeep place and was once now not scheduled for passenger flight,” an respectable stated. There is not any indication that the employee had a pilot’s license, and officers aren’t certain how “he completed the enjoy that he did.”
The person seems to had been the one particular person at the airplane, an FBI respectable stated, including that this hadn’t but been “showed that on the crash web page.”
The FBI is main the investigation, officers stated.
“Protection is our No. 1 purpose. There’s not anything extra necessary to us,” Tilden emphasised. “Final night time’s tournament goes to push us to be informed what we will from this tragedy in order that we will ensure that this doesn’t occur once more at Alaska Air team or at every other airline.”
“An airline worker carried out an unauthorized takeoff with out passengers at Sea-Tac; airplane has crashed in south Puget Sound. Commonplace operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed,” stated an airport tweet.
More or less 75 flights had been behind schedule over the location, 9 had been diverted to different airports and 5 had been canceled; greater than a dozen had greater than two-hour delays, Ehl stated on the news convention.
The person who flew the airplane was once described as a 29-year-old “suicidal male” who “acted by myself,” in step with the Pierco County Sheriff’s Office.
Fox Information’ Kathleen Joyce and Bradford Betz contributed to this document.