According to the autopsy report, the death of a pilot who crashed from a twin-engine plane in North Carolina in July was an accident.
On July 29, 23-year-old Charles Hew Crooks, co-pilot of the CASA CN-212 Aviocar, suffered multiple blunt force injuries as a result of an accidental fall, according to an autopsy report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Wednesday by NBC News. North Carolina.
The report also concluded that Crooks “had no significant natural disease.”
A toxicology report showed that Crooks had been tested for amphetamines, cocaine, and opioids, and that “toxicological tests did not detect alcohol or commonly abused drugs.”
The autopsy said Crooks flew for a private company that dropped paratroopers off the back ramp in a small private area. During the aircraft’s third landing approach, the aircraft suffered landing gear damage. With no one on board except Crooks and the pilot, the plane headed for Raleigh-Durham International Airport and reported the landing gear problem to air traffic control. The autopsy said the plane later encountered turbulence, and Crooks told the pilot he wasn’t feeling well.
“They were flying at about 1500 feet with the rear ramp open for ventilation. The plane encountered moderate turbulence,” the report states. He then left the cockpit towards the open rear ramp; at some point the pilot realized that he had apparently fallen out of the plane.”
According to a preliminary report on the incident from the National Transportation Safety Board, Crooks appeared “visibly upset” when he told the pilot that he was feeling sick and needed air.
According to the report, the unidentified pilot told investigators that Crooks did not appear to be lying on a stick about 1.8 feet above the ramp before he crashed.
Crooks was not wearing a parachute at the time.
Previously, pilots carried paratroopers when their plane “dropped” and the landing gear crashed into a runway, according to the report.
According to the report, Crooks declared a state of emergency and coordinated with air traffic controllers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
About 20 minutes later, Crooks was “visibly upset” by the hard landing and cut off communication with air traffic controllers, according to the report.
According to the report, after Crooks fell from the plane, the commanding pilot alerted air traffic controllers and began searching for Crooks.
He landed the plane at around 2:40 pm on a grassy area near Raleigh airport.
Crooks’ body was found in a neighborhood in Fuquay-Varina, southwest of Raleigh, about five hours later, after a resident heard a noise from his backyard.
Crooks’ father, Hew Crooks, told NBC affiliate WRAL from Raleigh that his son is a certified flight instructor who has worked for years to become a pilot.
“He pursued his private pilot’s license while in college. I think he got this in sophomore year,” Crooks told the police station. “He said a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t change places with anyone in the world. He loved the place he was in.”
“I can’t imagine what happened,” he added. “We’ll figure it out, I guess.”
Tim Stelloh and Minyvonne Burke contributed.