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Bizarre: Co-pilot Jumps Out of Plane Without Parachute


A co-pilot of a twin-engine cargo plane jumped to his death after he exited the cargo plane mid-flight.

Co-pilot Charles Hew Crooks, 23, jumped out of the plane without a parachute and his body was later recovered in the Fuquay-Varina neighborhood.

Before he jumped out it was reported that the cargo plane needed to make an emergency landing due to a landing gear malfunction.

The pilot was ultimately able to land the plane with only one wheel and only suffered minor injuries

WSOC had more details to add:

A twin-engine cargo plane made an emergency landing Friday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport after reported landing-gear issues and a search for the co-pilot who jumped from it before the landing ended with a recovery of a body, according to officials from Wake County.

ABC 11, Channel 9′s sister station in Raleigh, reported a man jumped out of the plane before it made its emergency landing near Raeford after a wheel had come off the landing gear.

There are now questions about he exactly exited the plane. The conversation between the plane and air traffic control can be heard in a 40-minute recording, ABC 11 reported on Saturday night.

“Emergency, we’ve lost our right wheel, we’d like to proceed to Raleigh and make a landing at Raleigh,” one pilot said. “We were attempting to land, we made contact with the ground, had a hard landing, and decided to go around, and at that point we lost the wheel.”

The CASA C-212 Aviocar, made in Spain in 1983 landed on Runway 5R-23L at RDU around 2:40 p.m. and veered into the grass. The pilot on board was taken to Duke Hospital with minor injuries, according to RDU first responders.

“How do you intend to land at Raleigh-Durham?” air traffic control asked. “Get as slow as we can … I guess we’re going to put it on the belly,” the caller said.

After the emergency landing, the pilot was taken to Duke Hospital with minor injuries and has since been released.

The body of co-pilot Charles Hew Crooks, 23, was found 20 miles away from the airport in a Fuquay-Varina neighborhood.

ABC 6 News had more details to share:

A twin-engine cargo plane made an emergency landing Friday at an airport in North Carolina after reported landing-gear issues, and a search for a person who jumped from it before the landing ended with the recovery of a body, Wake County officials said.

Darshan Patel, the Operations Manager for Wake County Emergency Management Wake EMS said in a 7:15 p.m. briefing that a body matching the description of the missing plane passenger was recovered.

The man identified as Charles Hew Crooks, 23, was found in Fuquay-Varina.

According to Patel, “There was no indication” that Crooks had a parachute.

“We had officers that were responding in the area for the search and were flagged down by a resident. They had heard something in their backyard which led to us finding this individual,” Patel said.

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