Ground employee steals plane from Seattle airport

 Airline officials say the man who stole a Horizon Air plane from Sea-Tac International Airport is believed to be a ground service agent.

Authorities initially said the man was a mechanic but Alaska Airlines later said he was an employee who helps direct aircraft to gates and de-ice planes.

Officials say the ``suicidal'' airline employee stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane and took off from Sea-Tac Friday night before crashing into a small island.

Authorities say there is no connection to terrorism and they do not believe anyone else was on the plane.

The man told air traffic controllers that he was a ``broken guy'' but also joked about whether the airline would hire him as a pilot if he landed safely.

The man, who was addressed as ``Rich'' in audio recordings with air traffic controllers, said he didn't want to land at a nearby military base.

He told them, ``Those guys will rough me up if I try and land there.''

During another part of the exchange, the man said he was concerned he was going to run low on fuel.

Later, he said he's ``got a lot of people that care about me.''

He said he didn't want to disappoint them but that he was ``just a broken guy, got a dew screws loose, I guess.

 

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