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Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 17 August 2018
Status:Preliminary
Date:Friday 10 August 2018
Time:20:47
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8D model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
Operator:Horizon Air
On behalf of:Alaska Airlines
Registration: N449QX
C/n / msn: 4410
First flight: 2012
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ketron Island, WA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Illegal Flight
Departure airport:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA/KSEA), United States of America
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
A Horizon Air DHC-8-402Q was stolen by a 29-year old airline ground-service agent from Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, Washington, USA. The aircraft was parked on the Cargo 1 ramp, which is the nothernmost ramp, close to the thresholds of runway 16L, C and R. The The ground-service agent used a tractor to turn the aircraft 180 degrees, facing west towards the runways. He entered the aircraft, started the engines and taxied towards runway 16C. A tower controller attempted to contact the aircraft, but it took off at 19:32 hours.
The aircraft then began manoeuvering over Puget Sound and was seen to perform a split S, pulling up just above the water. During these manoeuvres the person in control of the aircraft was in radio contact with air traffic control.
McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft of the Oregon Air National Guard were dispatched and followed the aircraft.
The aircraft then crashed in wooded terrain on Ketron Island, 40 km to the southwest of the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. Both wings broke off in the accident sequence and the fuselage came to rest inverted. The sole person on board the aircraft was killed.

Sources:
» https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2018/08/10/horizon-jet-crashes-after-being-stolen-by-sea-tac.html
» Seattle/Tacoma ATC audio including contact with N449QX
» List of aircraft crashes involving non-pilots stealing an aircraft


Photos

photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 N449QX
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 N449QX
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 C-GNGZ
pre-delivery test flight before being registered N449QX
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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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