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LISTEN: Cockpit audio from worker who stole empty plane from Sea-Tac Airport

A 28-year-old Horizon employee who stole an empty plane from Sea-Tac Airport communicated with air traffic control before crashing on a small Pierce County island.
No passengers were on board a plane stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport and crash-landed onto a small Washington island.

A Horizon employee stole an empty plane from Sea-Tac International Airport Friday night. The 28-year-old man communicated with air traffic control before the plane crashed a short time later.

The Horizon Air Q400 airplane crashed on Ketron Island in south Puget Sound after the worker conducted an “unauthorized take-off.” The man piloting the plane has not been recovered. There were no other passengers or crew on the plane and no other injuries to report.

VIDEO: Plane stolen from Sea-Tac crashes on small Washington island

On the audio clip from Broadcastify, air traffic control and the man are heard talking about him needing help pressurizing the cabin and running low on fuel. The audio also indicated a man in emotional crisis:

COCKPIT AUDIO: “I gotta a lot of people that care about me, and uh, it’s gonna disappoint them to hear that I did this. Um. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Um. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.”


AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: “We’re just trying a find a place for you to land safely.”

COCKPIT AUDIO: “Yeah, not quite ready to bring it down just yet, but holy smokes, I gotta stop looking at the fuel ‘cuz it’s going down quick."

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: “If you could, could you start a left-hand turn and we’ll take you down to the southeast, please.”

COCKPIT AUDIO: “This is probably, uh, like jail time for life, huh? I mean, I would hope it is. For a guy like me.”

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: “Right now, he’s just flying around. And, he just needs some help controlling his aircraft.”

COCKPIT AUDIO: “No, I mean, I don’t need that much help. I’ve played some video games before. I would like to figure out how to get this cabin altitude… like, I know where the box is… I would like to get some, uh, make it pressurized or something so I’m not so light-headed.”

RELATED: Witness accounts of plane stolen from Sea-Tac Airport

More coverage of the stolen plane crash:

Horizon Air employee stole, crashed plane on Pierce County island

How did man who stole plane at Sea-Tac fly it for over an hour?

Friendly tone contradicted drastic actions of Seattle plane thief

FBI recovers man's body and black box from wreckage of stolen plane

Horizon Air employee had security clearance, specialized training

Childhood friend believes man who stole plane had brain trauma from football

Firefighters battle more than flames after Ketron Island plane crash

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