The airline employee who stole a plane for an “unauthorized flight” at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday before crashing was able to “legitimately” access the area where the craft was held, officials said in a news conference on Saturday. They said they think he was the only person aboard.
“All of us at Alaska and Horizon are deeply saddened by last night’s unauthorized flight with the Horizon Q400 aircraft that resulted in the loss of life for the individual involved,” said Brad Tilden, chief executive of Alaska Airlines. “All 23,000 of us want to express our sincere sympathy to his family, his loved ones and his co-workers.”
The plane was witnessed flying over homes on August 10, 2018.
While refraining from confirming reports of the worker’s identity, officials said he was a ground service agent for Horizon Air and had been employed there for more than three years. Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines. He had undergone numerous background checks and “was fully credentialed,” officials said.