Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department and the Coast Guard dispatched rescue vessels to the scene.
Police described him as a "suicidal male" and confirmed he is local. "No others involved", Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said. "We're working to confirm who was on board, we believe there were no guests or crew on board other than the person operating the plane".
The Q400 is a twin-prop aeroplane with up to 78 seats, depending on configuration.
- Kai Simpson (@Kai_AHS) August 11, 2018Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, nearly crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed.
At another point, Rich said "I've got a lot of people that care about me". The man's condition wasn't immediately known.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the pilot was a 29-year-old airline mechanic who was suicidal, and that he acted alone. "And, uh, it's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this". It reported that the plane was stolen by a mechanic.
His motive is not clear, but audio between the cockpit and air traffic control indicates the man was in emotional distress.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport officials grounded flights temporarily during the drama but later said normal operations had resumed. I don't know! I don't want to. He briefly turned away, then turned back and saw the explosion as the plane crashed. He said he didn't see the crash but saw smoke. "The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low".