Chilling Audio Recordings of Man Who Stole and Crashed Plane Released


The audio recordings of the radio chatter between air traffic control at Sea-Tac International Airport and a reportedly suicidal man who stole an empty Alaska Airlines plane before crashing it into Puget Sound Friday night were released.

The suspect, previously identified as a 29-year-old airline employee and referred to in the recordings as “Rich” expressed disappointment, calling himself “broken” after he allegedly stole a 76-seat turboprop aircraft.

“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this,” he said. “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.”

During the exchange, the alleged hijacker grows concerned about the quickly dropping fuel levels.

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“I’m down to 2100; I started at like 30-something,” he tells the controller. “I don’t know what the burnage (sic), burnout? is like on takeoff, but yeah, it’s burned quite a bit faster than I expected.”

He also denied assistance with controlling the airplane explaining that he’s “played some video games before.” But he asked for help on how to pressurize the cabin since he was beginning to experience some light-headedness.

Air traffic control advised Rich to land the plane at the McChord Field Air Force Base, but he refused, saying that he was “not quite ready to bring (the aircraft) down just yet.”

He also commented on the repercussions of hijacking the plane, saying “I would hope it would be (jail time for life) for a guy like me.”

The man begins to get emotional telling the air traffic controller “Damnit Andrew, people’s lives are at stake here!”

“I don’t want to hurt no one,” he continues. “I just want you to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.”

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During the exchange, Rich talks in jest about the minimum wage and asking for a job as a pilot if he can “land this plane successfully.” The air traffic controller assures the man that he can get any job he wishes if he does, to which Rich self-deprecatingly replies, “Yeah right! Nah, I’m a white guy.”

Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed just south of Seattle on Ketron Island in the Puget Sound. It is unclear whether the plane crashed on its own or if it was shot down.

Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the man has not yet been positively identified and will not be until the remains are examined.

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