Copilot dies after strangely jumping out of plane before emergency landing

Image: WRAL, according to one of the videos presented below

A co-pilot aboard a twin-engine cargo plane died this past Friday, July 29, after jumping from the aircraft while in flight some time before making an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina, United States.

The following video shows the moment of landing, in which there was a problem with the landing gear of the aircraft registration N497CA, a CASA CN-212. However, while the recording was being made and the emergency services attended to the occurrence, no one imagined that one of the pilots who took off the aircraft was no longer on board, according to the information presented below in the continuity of this article.

The pilot made the emergency landing seen in the video above on Friday afternoon after reporting that one of the wheels had come off the landing gear. He was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries.

However, on the night of Friday to Saturday, the Fuquay-Varina Police Station reported the following:

“A few moments ago, the media outlets present at Sonoma Springs Subdivision received an update regarding the incident that we have been investigating for several hours.

Earlier, the surrounding fire and law enforcement agencies responded to the Sonoma Springs subdivision with the aim of locating the copilot who had exited a mid-flight plane.

During the investigation, a resident of Copain Cove approached a police officer from the Fuquay-Varina Police Station and provided information about the copilot’s possible whereabouts.

Upon further investigation, we were able to positively identify the co-pilot. With the help of the Municipal Identification Department, we were able to identify his closest relatives. His father, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, was notified of the incident.

The co-pilot has been identified as 23-year-old Charles Hew Crooks of Raleigh, North Carolina.

NTSB and FAA will be the lead investigative agencies and the Fuquay-Varina Police Department will provide support as needed.”

The location where the body was found is about 30 miles south of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and coincides with the route of the last flight of the N497CA aircraft recorded by online tracking platforms.

The data captured also shows that the plane departed from an airport in the Fayetteville area and flew for almost 1 hour there, apparently because of the landing gear incident, before proceeding to Raleigh-Durham airport.

The route of the last flight of the aircraft – Image: RadarBox
In the yellow highlight, the region of Copain Cove, where the body was found – Image: RadarBox

CBS17 makes a strange report that there were two co-pilots on the flight, without defining whether in addition to them there was a commander or just the two. Regardless, the channel reports that in the communication frequency messages one of the co-pilots said that he tried to land at Raeford, but they made a hard landing, decided to go around and, at that point, lost a wheel.

As a result, during the flight, one of the co-pilots contacted Fayetteville Air Traffic Control to help redirect them to Raleigh-Durham, an airport with better infrastructure for emergency landing.

During the conversation, it was also possible to hear one of the men on the plane say that he had enough fuel to fly for another four hours before having to land. Someone finally replied, “Quick question, how do you plan to land in Raleigh-Durham?” The answer of one of the men was: “Go down as low as possible and I think we will play with the belly”.

Regarding the copilot’s departure in mid-flight, all that the US media reports until this Sunday is that, during a radio call with the authorities, the pilot of the plane told the authorities that the companion jumped without a parachute.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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