Charles Crooks may have FALLEN out of jet while checking on landing gear, new reports claim
More details have been revealed about co-pilot Charlie Crooks’s mysterious mid-flight exit and fatal fall out of an airplane last week. Crooks, 23, may have gone to the back of the aircraft and opened the cargo door to check on a damaged landing gear, which may have caused him to unintentionally fall out of the jet before it made an emergency landing, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to TMZ. The new theory was floated after NBC News obtained a 13-minute 911 call audio from two Federal Aviation Administration workers that suggested Crooks may have jumped out of the aircraft.
An FAA employee is heard saying before providing the coordinates of where the incident took place, “This is from Raleigh Airport. We have a pilot that was inbound to the field. His co-pilot jumped out of the aircraft. So, they said he jumped out of the aircraft. His copilot jumped out without the parachute so he might have impact to the ground.” The dispatcher responds, "I guess at this point in time, all we can really do is kind of do a recovery.” Another FAA worker who took over the call said, "This is the craziest thing I've ever dealt with. I mean, I'm sure this pilot is going to be shaken up. I have no idea. He literally just said, 'my pilot just jumped out.'"
Earlier, it was suggested that Crooks may have leaped out of the plane for an unknown reason, and authorities are still looking into the case. This Monday, WRAL released the audio of the pilot's request for assistance from air traffic control just before Crooks' unexplained exit. The pilot was heard saying, "Emergency, we've lost our right wheel. We would like to proceed to Raleigh and make a landing at Raleigh.” Daily Mail obtained the 40-minute exchange and reports that the pilot confirmed "we have two persons on board" while speaking to air traffic control.
Crooks did not have a parachute when he jumped out of the plane, according to a statement made by a representative of Wake County emergency management last Friday, July 29 evening through NBC News. Crooks was later discovered dead in Fuqua-Varina, roughly 30 miles south of the airport. According to the Federal Aviation Administration through NBC News, the twin-engine CASA CN-212 Aviocar made an emergency landing in a grassy area at Raleigh-Durham International Airport around 2:40 pm.
The aircraft can be seen skidding off the runway and partially spinning in a circle in a video posted by WRAL. Multiple agencies assisted in the search for Crooks before his body was located. A Fuqua-Varina resident stopped an officer and reported hearing a commotion coming from behind their house, which is where Crooks' body was later discovered. The incident is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.