As reported by NBC, in his communications with the air traffic control tower, the man mentions "having a few screws loose" and showed signs of suicidal thoughts.
Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, tweeted that the man was "suicidal" and there was no connection to terrorism.
A man crashes a passenger plane in Washington State, after performing an unauthorized take-off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He described him as a white male, age 29, who may have mental health problems.
"Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, nearly crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed".
He flew it for an hour, followed by two armed F-15 jets from OR that the military scrambled, before he crashed.
Flights from Sea-Tac were temporarily grounded but normal operations resumed around 9:30 p.m.
The US fighter jets chased the planes to divert the Horizon Air Q400 from the crowded area after the airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers.
The stolen plane is a twin-engine turboprop designed for shorter distance flights. They pursued the aircraft before it went down on Ketron Island, between Tacoma and Olympia. "I would hope it is for a guy like me", he said.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is monitoring the situation, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday morning. However, "Rich" also later tells them that he can't figure out how to pressurize the plane and that he's getting "lightheaded" after having vomited at least once.
A witness on the ground, Bryan Sichley, said he was at Chambers Bay in University Place and saw a plane nose dive after being chased by two fighter jets.
"Nah, I mean, I don't need that much help; I've played some video games before". "They're not as easy to fly as, say, a Cessna 150, so I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did", Beck said.
Released radio conversation between the man and air traffic controllers goes on for more than a half hour.
A picture of how an airliner was stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport on Friday evening is beginning to emerge.
No one else was believed to be on the plane, authorities said.
"That means I lift a lot of bags, like a lot of bags, so many bags", he says, adding, "it allows me to do some pretty cool things, too". "Never really knew it until now".
The rogue pilot replied: "Oh man". I wouldn't want to do that. "Witnesses said a. plane is going down".
The working commercial pilot said if the weather is clear, as it was Friday, instrument knowledge isn't as crucial to flying as it is at night or in poor weather.
"The setup in aviation in America is we secure the airfield and then we have the mindset that we have employees that are credentialed and authorised to be there", Tilden said, adding that the airline was working with authorities to investigate.
The man, who was addressed as "Rich" in audio recordings with air traffic controllers, said he didn't want to land at a nearby military base.