RALEIGH, NC– The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report of what happened on July 20, when a pilot fell to his death before another pilot on the same plane made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
According to the NTSB, the two pilots made parachute jumps on the plane. They had successfully completed two runs and were on their way to pick up a third group of skydivers when the plane was damaged.
The pilot-in-command said the second pilot – previously identified as Charles Hew Crooks, 23, was flying the approach when the plane crashed and the right main landing gear struck the runway surface.
The pilot-in-command took control. The pilot flew a low approach during which Raeford West Airport staff confirmed that the landing gear was damaged. At this point, the pilots declared the emergency and coordinated a planned emergency landing on the RDU with air traffic control.
During the flight to RDU, the pilots reported moderate turbulence. In addition, the pilot-in-command said Crooks was visibly upset by the hard landing at Raeford West Airport.
SEE ALSO: 911 calls triggered in an incident in which the co-pilot abandoned the aircraft, which later made an emergency landing on the RDU
About 20 minutes into the flight to RDU, Crooks lowered the ramp in the rear of the plane and “indicated he was feeling ill and needed air,” according to the NTSB preliminary report.
Crooks then “got out of his seat, removed his headset, excused himself and exited the plane” via the ramp at the rear of the plane.
The pilot-in-command turned the plane to the right and briefly searched for Crooks. He informed air traffic control that Crooks appeared to have exited the plane without a parachute.
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https://6abc.com/pilot-jumps-out-of-plane-charles-crooks-ntsb-report-rdu-emergency-landing/12131120/ Pilot jumps out of plane update: NTSB preliminary report says pilot appeared sick, ‘apologized’ before exiting plane in mid-flight