Image: WRAL, from one of the videos presented below
A copilot aboard a twinengine cargo plane died last Friday, July 29, after jumping from the plane some time in flight before making an emergency landing at RaleighDurham Airport in North Carolina, United States.
The video below shows the moment of landing when there was a problem with the landing gear of aircraft registration N497CA, a CASA CN212. However, during the recording and the emergency services taking care of the incident, no one suspected that one of the pilots who launched the plane was no longer on board, as follows from the information contained below in the continuation of this article.
The pilot performed 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 discharged from the hospital with minor injuries.
However, on Friday night, the FuquayVarina Police Station reported the following:
“A few moments ago, the media present at the Sonoma Springs Subdivision received an update on the incident that we have been investigating for several hours.
Previously, surrounding fire departments and law enforcement responded to the Sonoma Springs sub with the aim of locating the copilot who had exited a midplane.
During the investigation, a resident of Copain Cove approached an officer from the FuquayVarina Police Station and provided information about the copilot’s possible whereabouts.
After further investigations, we were able to clearly identify the copilot. With the help of the Municipal Identification Service, we were able to identify his closest relatives. His father in Fairfield, Connecticut was informed of the incident.
The copilot was identified as 23yearold Charles Hew Crooks of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The NTSB and FAA will be the lead investigative agencies, and the FuquayVarina Police Department will provide assistance as needed.”
The location where the body was found is about 30 miles south of RaleighDurham International Airport and matches the route of the N497CA plane’s last flight recorded by online tracking platforms.
The captured data also shows that the plane departed from an airport in the Fayetteville area and flew there for almost an hour, apparently due to the landing gear incident, before continuing to RaleighDurham Airport.
The route of the plane’s last flight Image: RadarBox
In the yellow marker, the region of Copain Cove where the body was found Image: RadarBox
CBS17 makes an odd report that two copilots were on the flight, without defining whether there was a commander in addition to them, or just the two. Regardless, the channel reports that one of the copilots said on the communications frequency news he tried to land at Raeford but they made a hard landing, decided to fly around and lost a wheel at that point.
As a result, midflight, one of the copilots contacted Fayetteville Air Traffic Control to divert them to RaleighDurham, an airport with better infrastructure for emergency landings.
During the call, one of the men on the plane could also be heard saying that he had enough fuel to fly four more hours before he had to land. Someone finally replied, “Quick question, how do you plan on landing at RaleighDurham?”
As for the copilot’s departure in the middle of the flight, the US media only reported until Sunday that the pilot of the plane radioed the authorities and told the authorities that the companion had jumped without a parachute.