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Man Who Stole Doomed Plane Hoped There Was Life Sentence for What He Did (LISTEN)


Wonder what happened inside the stolen Horizon Air Q400 airplane in Washington state? Well, here you go. Audio released Saturday shows air traffic control trying to talk down the pilot.

“I got a lot of people that care about me, and it’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this,” says the man. “I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.”

The air traffic control staffer called him Rich, but authorities haven’t named the man. He was only identified as an employee for Horizon Air, in a statement by Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. The person made off with the aircraft at about 8 p.m. Friday evening, Tilden said. He was the only person on board.

Horizon President and CEO Gary Beck said crew and passengers were accounted for. The plane wasn’t even scheduled to fly at the time of the incident, he said. Beck described the flight as being an hour long before the crash on Ketron Island.

F-15 fighter planes were sent to intercept the aircraft, but were not involved in the crash, said the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. They described the man as “suicidal.”

As heard in the recording, an air traffic control staffer works with the man to find a place to land. He attempts to guide him toward a runaway a mile way.

“Oh, man, those guys will rough me up if I try and land there,” the man says. “I think I might mess something up there too. I wouldn’t want to do that–Oh! They probably got anti-aircraft!”

The air traffic control staffer assures him they don’t have that, and says they just want to find a safe place for him to land.

“Yeah, not quite ready to bring it down just yet, but holy smokes, I got to stop looking at the fuel because it’s going down quick,” say the man.

He suggests that should this could get him a life sentence.

“I would hope it is for a guy like me,” he said.

[Screengrab via KING5]

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