Airplane theft shows potential dangers from airline workers

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The theft of an empty turboprop plane by an airline worker at Sea-Tac International Airport who performed dangerous loops before crashing into a remote island in Puget Sound illustrated what aviation experts have long known: One of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel is airline or airport employees causing mayhem.

Investigators are piecing together how the airline ground agent working his regular shift stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane, took off Friday night from Sea-Tac and fatally crashed into a small island after being chased by military jets that were quickly scrambled.

Officials said Saturday that the man was a 3.5-year Horizon employee and had clearance to be among aircraft, but that to their knowledge, he wasn’t a licensed pilot.

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3 comments

  • Mac Woods

    “Potential dangers” which aviation “experts” have “long-known”. What a comically hysterical response to an incident whose occurrence was a statistical anomaly. How many years has the Sea-Tac airport been in business? How many aircraft (from day one) have been through there? How many hundreds of thousands of flight plans were filed and flawlessly executed? How many thousands of employees have worked there (also without incident) from day one? You make it sound like airline employees in general and aviation mechanics in particular are sleeper-cell terrorists, patiently awaiting orders.

  • C

    Oh. In case you missed it, one of the mainstream media was quick to indicate in its coverage that this was not terrorist related. Imagine that.