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Airplane theft shows potential dangers from airline workers

/ 01:21 PM August 12, 2018
Airplanes Pollution

In this photo taken March 24, 2015, an Alaska Airlines jet takes off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington.  AP  

OLYMPIA, Washington — 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 the a small island after being chased by military jets that were quickly scrambled.

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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. /ee

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TAGS: airplane theft, Sea-Tac International Airport
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