Allegedly Suicidal Man Crash Lands Stolen Aircraft

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The air traffic controller and a pilot tried to convince the man to attempt to land the plane - and to not attempt the aerobatic maneuvers - but were not successful.

Scott Adams, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire and Rescue, said about 10:30 p.m. the crash had started a grass fire, and that two fire engines, a medic unit and a command unit were at the site, along with firefighting staff from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Later the man said: "I've got a lot of people that care about me. The situation was not their fault but I think they could have given a little more guidance or announced to the plane this is what's going on instead of leaving us all to fend for ourselves", said Leddy.

In the chilling recording, he revealed he was a "broken man" and apologised to the air traffic controller.

Richard Russell, 29, flew the plane for over an hour before it crashed on Ketron Island in south Puget Sound.

Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but officials said the jets were not involved in the crash.

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While authorities did not release the man's name, they say the man was suicidal, and officials said Friday night the man is likely dead.

At a news conference in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, officials from Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said they still working closely with authorities as they investigated what happened. "We are giving those investigators our full support and cooperation", Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement on August 11.

The pilot, identified by local law enforcement as a 29-year-old ground service agent for Alaska Airlines sister carrier Horizon Air identified only as "Rich", sent several distraught transmissions while piloting the aircraft over open frequencies. "They probably got anti-aircraft!"

"We are going to be thorough, which means taking the time needed to scour the area, delve into the background of the individual believed responsible, and review every aspect of this incident with all appropriate public & private partners", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

NORAD said the fighters did not fire on the stolen airplane.

In a bewildering move, a Horizon Air employee stole an Alaska Airlines plane on Friday and flew it erratically until crashing into an island nearby.

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The Pierce County Sheriff´s office ruled out terrorism Friday.

It is believed that he was a mechanic who took the plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden also issued a statement.

No passengers were on board and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter. A Facebook page appearing to belong to the man said he was from Wasilla, Alaska, and lived in Sumner, Washington, and was married in 2012.

Southers says that if the man knew how to do loops he likely had the skills to target people on the ground.

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Smoke and an orange glow seen on Ketron Island in Washington state.

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