The Puget Sound in Washington State before crashing on an island has been reported by Richard B. Russell
Mr , Russell, a ground service agent at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, took off around 8 p.m.
He flew around the Seattle-Tacoma area, chatting sometimes calmly and sometimes in a cold stream of consciousness guide him to a safe landing.
Alaska Airlines said in a statement that Horizon Air, a subsidiary. The aircraft was a 76-seat turboprop, a Q400, flying for Horizon.
"We want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident," Brad Tilden, chief executive of Alaska Air Group said at a news conference on Saturday.
Recordings of Mr. Russell's conversation with air traffic controllers reveal that he admits the Olympic Mountains at sunset, complaining of lightheadedness and musing about potential
He said he hoped to have a "moment of serenity" in the air but lamented that the sights "went by so fast."
"I got a lot of people that care about me and it's gonna hit them to hear that I did this," he could be heard saying. "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. "
Mr. Russell to land the plane.
" I do not know you, "he said. "I do not know. I do not want to. I was kind of hoping that which is gonna be it. "
Videos taken by onlookers during Mr. Russell's flight showed the deep down dives, broad loops and at least one upside-down roll.  Debra Eckrote, the chief of the Northwest Regional Office of the National Transportation Safety Board, said on Saturday that it would be conceivable that a ground-based agent would have access to aircraft.
"They do not necessarily use a key, so there's switches that they use to start the aircraft, "she said.
Addressing the Stolen.
Addressing the Stolen.
At a news conference on Saturday, airline officials declined to publicly identify the employee plane's flying maneuvers, Gary Beck, chief executive of Horizon Air Industries, said, "Commercial aircrafts are complex machines," he added.
Alaska Airlines officials said Mr. Russell had worked for Horizon for three and a half years, and was responsible for handling luggage and cargo for towing aircraft. He had worked his shift on Friday.
Mr. Russell had previously reported that he had just met with Mr. Russell.
Rick Christenson, at Operational Supervisor with Horizon passing between shifts, "He added Mr. Russell's ability to fly"
In a video has appeared to have been posted by Mr. Russell in December, he introduced himself as a ground service agent. "That means I lift a lot of bags," he said. Like, a lot of bags. So many bags. "
" Ketchikan, Alaska, followed by images of several countries, including France, Ireland and Mexico. "
But it also makes some pretty cool things, too .
Most importantly, he concluded, "I get to visit those I love most."
"We are going to be thorough, which means taking the time needed to scour the area, delve into the background of the individual believed responsible, and review every aspect of this incident with all appropriate public and private partners, "the agency's Seattle field office said in a statement."
Adam Goldman, Kirk Johnson and Sarah Mervosh contributed reporting. Jack Begg contributed research.