Wednesday, November 30, 2022

F-15 fighter jets pursued the hijacked airplane before it crashes in Seattle

On 10 August, the 29-year-old mechanic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stole a Horizon Air 76-seat passenger airplane.

The aircraft took off and began manoeuvering over Puget Sound. F-15 fighter jets were sent from Portland to control the situation and, if necessary to intercept it.

According to the, witnesses reported seeing the Bombardier Q400, a turboprop aircraft, perform a loop-the-loop and nearly slam into Chambers Bay, all while being pursued by fighter jets. The aircraft then crashed into Ketron Island, 40 km to the southwest of the Seattle/Tacoma Airport.


No passengers were on board and there were no reports of injuries on the ground.

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by to F-15s. He said he didn’t see the crash but saw smoke.

‘It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie,’ he told the newspaper. ‘The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low.’

Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled from Portland ‘minutes later’ to intercept it, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Pictured is the hijacked plane, top, and one of the F-15s beneath it

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.

Two F-15 fighter jets supposedly from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland were “not involved in (the) crash,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Friday.

The Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 crashed into Ketron Island south of Tacoma, the sheriff’s office said.

“Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane. Was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills (that) caused crash into Island,” the sheriff’s office said.

Video by Cameron Thomsen

Video by

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it:

You can also make a donation to the Ukrainian charity fund to show your support for Ukrainian freedom, here's where to do it: Come Back Alive Foundation

Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.