Co-pilot died after plunging from a small cargo plane mid-flight, report says
- The co-pilot of a small cargo plane died after jumping or falling from the aircraft, officials said.
- The News & Observer reported the 23-year-old man's body was found in a backyard in a nearby town.
The co-pilot of a small cargo plane died after falling or jumping in mid-air, The News & Observer reported.
Authorities said the 23-year-old man's body was found on Friday in a yard in the town of Fuquay-Varina in North Carolina, about 30 miles south of Raleigh-Durham international airport where the plane made an emergency landing with damaged landing hear.
Authorities named the man Charles Hew Crooks but are yet to determine if he jumped or fell from the aircraft. He was not wearing a parachute, the newspaper reported.
Daishin Patel of Wake County emergency management said at a press conference that search crews had "wished for a better outcome."
He said Patel authorities did not know how high the plane was flying when Crooks left the plane, according to the report. However, a recorded route of the plane's flight from ADS-B Exchange, a flight-tracking website, suggested the plane was at about 3,850 ft.
The pilot made an emergency landing after reporting that one of the wheels had come off the landing gear. He was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and local, state and federal authorities are investigating, according to the report.
According to FlightAware.com, the plane departed from Raeford in Hoke County at 1.10pm and landed at about 2.49 pm. Airport officials weren't able to confirm whether the airport where the plane landed was its intended destination.
Insider contacted the airport, the FAA, and the National Transportation Safety Board for comment.
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