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.
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.”
More coverage of the stolen plane crash: