Mechanic steals, crashes US aircraft
SAN FRANCISCO: A “suicidal” mechanic stole an empty passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport late Friday, took it for a brief flight then crashed it in an incident officials said was unrelated to terrorism.
Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but local officials said the jets “were not involved in the crash.”
Video taken by a bystander showed the passenger airplane making an unlikely upside-down aerial loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern US state of Washington.
The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Flames lit up the night as they spread from the burning wreckage to nearby trees. Officials said there were no victims on the ground.
An airline employee “conducted an unauthorised takeoff” of an airplane carrying no passengers, then “crashed in south Puget Sound,” Sea-Tac Airport officials said on Twitter.
MORE ON PAGE 1 BOOK 2
Security officials respond to an alert about the crash.