STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A Seattle-area airport employee who stole a plane and subsequently crashed it confessed to air traffic controllers why he did what he did Friday evening.
The 29-year-old seems to joke with the dispatchers, asking if Alaska Airlines would give him a job were he to land the plane.
“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this,” the man identified as “Rich” in the transmission continues. “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.”
“Rich” later joked he did not need help landing the plane, since he’d “played some video games before.” He also realizes he is running out of fuel at one point.
The Horizon Air plane eventually crashed.
Sea-Tac confirmed the incident on Twitter.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Dept. tweeted the plane was stolen subsequently chased by an F-15 fighter jet. It crashed on Ketron Island, about 30 miles southwest of Seattle. The incident is not being considered an act of terrorism.
The sheriff’s dept. said it appeared the man, a mechanic, was either doing “stunts” or flying at his low level of proficiency, ostensibly due to the plane’s movement. Amateur video shows the aircraft flying upside-down at one point.
Alaska Airlines, which operates Horizon out of Sea-Tac, said it is believes there were no passengers on board the Bombadier-made Q400 airliner at the time of the incident.
Reporter Gary Horcher earlier tweeted a photo passengers stuck on the runway when the incident was first announced. Airport operations resumed shortly thereafter.
It was later confirmed two Oregon National Guard F-15s deployed from Portland to intercept the plane. They were given clearance to fire flares, not missiles, at the plane. It is not yet clear if flares were used.
A Twitter user posted a video claiming the plane was flying overhead. Shortly after the plane passes, a jet is seen in the distance.
Another person posted a video showing a small plume of smoke where the plane crashed.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE
This story is developing.