An airline mechanic who stole a Horizon Air plane from a Seattle airport told air traffic controllers that he was a “broken guy” but also joked about whether the airline would hire him as a pilot if he landed safely.
The man, who was addressed as “Rich” in audio recordings with air traffic controllers, said he didn’t want to land at a nearby military base.
He told them, “Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there.” During another part of the exchange, the man said he was concerned he was going to run low on fuel.
Later, he said he’s “got a lot of people that care about me.” He said he didn’t want to disappoint them but that he was “just a broken guy, got a dew screws loose, I guess.”
Sheriff’s officials say a man who stole an Alaska Airlines plane from an airport in Washington state was “suicidal” and there is no connection to terrorism.
Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, says on Twitter Friday night that a 29-year-old airline mechanic stole the Horizon Air Q400 from Sea-Tac International Airport.
Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed near Ketron Island. There were no passengers aboard.
The sheriff’s department said they were working to conduct a background investigation on the man, whose name was not immediately released.
The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he’s “got a lot of people that care about me” and that he is “just a broken guy.”