The plane was a Q400, a Bombardier turboprop plane, one of about 40 the airline has in its fleet.
He said he was working with FBI and Military while the sheriff's department said they were working to conduct a background investigation on the man.
According to the mercurynews.com, witnesses reported seeing the Bombardier Q400, a turboprop aircraft, perform a loop-the-loop and almost slam into Chambers Bay, all while being pursued by fighter jets.
Pastor said the plane crashed on the island, with a population of 20 people.
Officials say the man used a pushback tractor to first manoeuvre the plane 180 degrees from a maintenance location into the correct position for take-off.
Troyer said the man who stole the plane is a mechanic at the airport.
Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland air base. No one was hurt on the ground, authorities said.
The newspaper describes him as sounding "carefree and wild" in the audio.
Then later he began to worry about his fuel.
"I'm down to 2,100 (pounds)", he told the ATC. "I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did".
NBC reported that the man expressed distress about his mental health while communicating with the air traffic control tower. Warning: some might find the following audio disturbing or triggering.
"I don't know, man", the pilot answers. I think I might mess something up there too. I wouldn't want to do that.
Tilden said the system in place is to credential and secure employees and air fields, but not planes. "That means I lift a lot of bags... so many bags", he says.
The air drama was broadcast live over air traffic control monitoring sites.
The man seemed to understand that his actions would have dire consequences. "This is probably jail time for life, huh? Well I hope it would be for a guy like me".
"Oh, Richard", the controller responds. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this".
"I appreciate the quick reaction and professionalism of our airmen and the entire NORAD team who were on alert today, as they are every day of the year", Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said Friday night in a statement. They should've gone over and said "Hey, ' if nothing else, 'Can I help you?"
He then said: "I wouldn't know how to land - I wasn't really planning on landing it".
The takeoff happened around 8 p.m. local time.
At one point, Rich flew the plane upside down in a barrel roll, coming within feet of the water before pulling up.
Eyewitness John Waldron told CNN he watched the plane do "a complete loop", before it went "pretty much straight up. Keep the aircraft nice and low". Ground service agents' job duties are to load and unload bags, direct aircraft for takeoff and de-ice planes in the winter.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) thanked the Air National Guard for scrambling jets to confront the hijacked aircraft Friday night, and lamented that "there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight's tragic incident". Russell said he was having a "blast" and had learned to fly from video games. "We saw the jets circle back after and she texted that there was no plane".
"It was unfathomable. It was something out of a movie", he told the newspaper.