Man who hijacked Seattle plane had various security clearings before getting hired

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SEATTLE, WA-- It's a scene straight out of a movie.

"Hey, pilot guy! Can this thing do a back-flip you think?"

A 29-year-old unidentified man hijacked an empty 76-seater plane from Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport.

"Think I'm going to land it, like in a safe kind of manner. Think I'm going to try and do a barrel roll. And if that goes good, I think I'm going to nose down and call it a night." said the man.

So what led to this horrific incident? Authorities aren't identifying the Horizon Air employee who had been with the company for about three and a half years, but the Sheriff's Department is saying that he was suicidal.

"Alright, Rich this is Captain Bill, congratulations, you did that, now let's try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground." said a captain in the air traffic control room.

Air traffic control kept in contact with the man and tried to talk him down to a safe landing but that was all in vain. The stolen air craft crashed 40 miles from the airport.

"We understand at this point there is probably only one casualty. Most likely and that's the person who is flying the plane." said Sheriff Paul Pastor, Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Horizon employees are all required to go through various background checks before their hiring process and this one was no different.

" He had a SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) badge with the port of Seattle. He worked his shift yesterday. We believe he was in uniform. His job is to be around planes as he is tow certified he is meant to be on the secure side. Airports have a secure and non-secure he is meant to be on the secure side. That's part of his fulfillment of job responsibilities." said a Horizon Air representative.

The aircraft was not scheduled for take off Friday night and officials are still trying to piece together why and how was the Horizon plane hijacked.

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