Extraordinary audio of the Seattle hijacker conversation with air traffic controller

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Video showed the Horizon Air Q400, a turboprop plane that seats 76 people, doing large loops and other risky stunts as the sun set on Puget Sound in Washington state.

The air controller tells him there is a runway just off to his right "in about a mile [1.6km]", referring to a military airfield at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

'This is probably jail time for life, huh? At another point he apologized to everyone who cared about him and described himself as, "just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess - never really knew it until now".

"I would like to apologise to each and every one of them".

Once one of the F-15's made contact when the suicidal pilot, the plane took a nosedive and crashed in a densely wooded area - sparking a 2-acre wildfire, according to Debra Eckrote, the Western Pacific regional chief for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Sheriff's department spokesman Ed Troyer also confirmed that two U.S. Air Force F-15s intercepted the plane within minutes of its departure from Sea-Tac, but they were not involved in its crash near Ketron Island.

Federal Bureau of Investigation said it does not consider the incident terror-related as authorities try to piece together how a security scare of that magnitude occurred at major airport. He was only identified as an employee for Horizon Air, in a statement by Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden.

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees, "she said in a video message".

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Sheriff Paul A. Pastor said at the press conference that there was no sign that it was a terrorist attack.

"There were some manoeuvres that were done that were incredible manoeuvres with the aircraft", Beck said.

The married mechanic - who has not been named - crashed on Ketron Island, 30 miles south west of Seattle, at 8pm local time.

Richard Russell was a amusing, gentle and hardworking man, said family and a colleague of the airline employee who stole a passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and flew it for an hour before he crashed and was killed.

Airline officials said the ground service agent had a certification to tow aircraft, which results in a higher security clearance than other ground agents.

Officials do not believe Russell had a pilot's license, and they do not know how he knew to fly the plane. The plane had an unauthorized takeoff from Sea-Tac Airport at around 8:00 p.m., and then crashed.

United States law enforcement officials are piecing together how an airline ground agent stole an empty plane. Officials said there were no victims on the ground. The FBI is now investigating, while Alaska Air is cooperating with authorities and their own safety team to make sense of exactly what went down.

He said: "I hope this doesn't ruin your day". "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". Near the end of the video, you can also see the aftermath of the crash.

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