In a dramatic video that documenting the fate of the stolen Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, the 78 passenger turbo prop airliner, people watching and recording the scene react when it’s clear that fighter jets are tracking the plane stolen by an airline employee named Rich, now described as having been suicidal.
The plane crashes but there have been reports and suggestions across social media that two F-15 fighter jets shot down the aircraft stolen from Seattle-Tacoma airport Friday night.
“When one of the F-15s made contact with the rogue pilot, the plane nose dived and crashed.” RIIIIIIGHT ??? You think I can’t tell when an F-15 has shot down a hijacked plane???”
Broadcast live over air traffic control monitoring sites, air traffic control tries to steer the stolen plane away from the airport and away from populated areas. Rich says shortly before crashing, “I feel like one of my engines has gone out.”
According to government officials, the Federal Aviation Administration reported a plane was stolen from Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) airport and it had “requested DoD assistance,” referring to the Department of Defense. Two F-15 aircraft were deployed and “intercepted” the plane in an attempt to “redirect” it out toward the Pacific Ocean when it “crashed.” Some questioned if in fact the F-15s shot the plane down. The DoD denies that.
North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command said it “launched two F-15C alert aircraft from Portland and proceeded to intercept the Q400 in the vicinity of McCord Air Force Base. The fighters were directed to fly supersonic to expedite the intercept,” the NORAD statement reads. “The stolen aircraft initially tracked south from Seattle-Tacoma. NORAD fighters were working to redirect the aircraft out over the Pacific Ocean when it crashed on the southern tip of Ketron Island in the southern end of Puget Sound. NORAD fighters did not fire upon the aircraft.”
“The stolen #Q400 has crashed unknown if it was on its own or shot down on Ketron Island.”
Witness accounts and video say it “did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed.”
“Hijacker flys a plane and threatens to do a barrel roll over at #SeaTac….I think he missed The new Space Force memo. F-15’s just shot him/the plane down.”
This video purports to show the plane in a “barrel-roll” maneuver.
Despite claims and theories, NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command says the two F-15 fighter jets did not shoot down the aircraft.
“FAA reported stolen a/c from Sea-Tac airport and requested DoD assistance. NORAD launched 2x F-15 who intercepted the a/c and were working to redirect the aircraft out over the Pacific when it crashed. The fighters did not fire upon the a/c. Event pass to local rescue and law enf…”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was reported as saying, “The responding fighter pilots flew alongside the aircraft and were ready to do whatever was needed to protect us, but in the end the man flying the stolen plane crashed.”
NORAD is a “U.S. and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.” It says it’s “responsible for monitoring and identifying all aircraft approaching North America! Check out this video of a recent aircraft intercept exercise,” according to its Facebook page,Its hashtag is #WeHaveTheWatch
NORAD, which is most well-known for tracking Santa every Christmas, shared a video of how exactly its planes intercept others.
The chief operating officer of Horizon Air, owner of the stolen craft, said that at around 8 p.m. one of its Q400 airplanes “made an unauthorized takeoff” with a Horizon Air employee named on Twitter as “Rich” at the controls. Horizon said the plane piloted by the man crashed near Ketron Island by South Tacoma.
“Our hearts are with the family of the individual on board,” Horizon Air COO Constance Van Mullen said.
“Rich,” as he is called on radio laments, “I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them that I did this. I would like t apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose. Never really knew it until now.”