Our friend and former US Special Forces soldier David was on the ground across from Kreton Island when the plane crashed. He saw the F-15s, and the smoke after the Q400 had crashed, and called in to give his eyewitness account and first-hand military insight.
Listen to his call, PLUS the entire Conway Show broadcast of this hair-raising and tragic turn of events:
Original story below:
At about 9 PM Pacific Time, reports started coming in of a small commercial plane being hijacked by a "rogue pilot" at SeaTac Airport in Washington state.
As news outlets started picking up the story, it was soon discovered that the stolen plane was a Horizon Air Q400, owned and operated by Alaska Airlines. The airline confirmed the news on their official Twitter page:
We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
2 F-15's were scrambled from Oregon, and within a few minutes of the hijacking they had made contact with the rogue pilot.
Rock 41 and Rock 42 scrambling out of PDX this evening pic.twitter.com/6otUX7hkMV— Sabian404 (@Sabian404) August 11, 2018
Over the course of the next hour, eyewitness footage started making its way online:
Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed. Weird times. pic.twitter.com/Ra4LcIhwfU— bmbdgty (@drbmbdgty) August 11, 2018
Now, audio of the thief communicating with the flight tower have been leaked. The guy sounds relatively lucid, and paints the picture of someone who had been trying to hold things together for a bit:
The thief has been identified so far only as "Rich," and it's known that he was an airline mechanic which could help explain how he was able to pull off the larson.
In addition to being able to take off and fly the airplane, he attempted several daredevil level tricks, even inquiring with flight control if he could "do a barrel roll."
But in the end, it looks like he didn't have the chops to do "tricks" like he told the tower he wanted to.
After attempting at least one "move," it seems Rich's engine stalled due to his lack of real flying experience. This led to a nose-dive and the plane careening toward nearby Kreton Island where it was doomed to crash and burst into a devastating fire.
A press conference is expected Saturday.
Read more over at Komonews.