North Carolina — A 9-1-1 call by air traffic controllers suggests a co-pilot may have jumped out of a disabled plane before the other pilot made an emergency landing in North Carolina, according to a recording of the call that was made public on Tuesday.
It’s not clear how or why Charles Hew Crooks23, stepped out of the small cargo plane Friday afternoon about 30 miles south of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
He was not wearing a parachute and his body was found in a residential garden in the city of Fuquay-Varina.
Two unidentified Federal Aviation Administration employees are heard telling a 9-1-1 operator that the plane was headed for the airport.
Apparently, the pilot on board had told them that his co-pilot had “jumped out of the plane”, according to some media reports.
“We have a pilot who was heading to the track”a controller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher, according to the WRAL channel. “His co-pilot jumped out of the aircraft. He hit the ground and here are the coordinates.”
The call lasted about 13 minutes, in which the controllers stated several times that the co-pilot had jumped.
Wake County Emergency Management Operations Chief, Darshan Patelsaid the initial 9-1-1 call prompted the search for Crooks.
The aircraft sustained significant damage to the landing gear and fuselage., according to preliminary information collected by the National Transportation Safety Board. The investigation is still ongoing.