911 Audio Reveals North Carolina Pilot Who Mysteriously Vanished ‘Jumped’ From Plane

by Emily Morgan

A recently released 911 has revealed that the co-pilot who mysteriously disappeared midair in North Carolina had “jumped” out of the aircraft.

In the call released on Tuesday, listeners hear two federal aviation administration employees saying that Charles Hew Crooks’ co-pilot reported that he jumped out of the damaged plane before it made an emergency landing at Raleigh Durham International Airport on Friday.

“This is from Raleigh Airport,” an FAA air traffic controller said on the recording. “We have a pilot who was inbound to the field. His co-pilot jumped out of the aircraft. He made impact to the ground and here are the coordinates.”

Rescuers discovered the North Carolina pilot’s body in the backyard of a home in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, about 30 miles from the airport.

In the call, an FAA employee said Crooks’ co-pilot had reported he “jumped out without the parachute, so he might have impact to the ground.”

“I am sure the pilot is going to be shaken up,” one FAA employee said in the 13-minute call. “I have no idea. He literally just said, ‘My pilot just jumped out.’”

The recording captured the FAA employees trying to figure out what happened to the missing co-pilot.

“I guess at this point in time, all we can do is recovery,” an FAA controller told a dispatcher. He added, “I don’t know… I don’t know. This is the craziest thing ever.”

Family and friends of late North Carolina pilot mourn the tragic loss

Emergency officials revealed that air traffic controllers received the initial 911 call at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The aircraft, a CASA 212-200, made an emergency landing about 18 minutes later, per reports.

Once the aircraft touched down, it was reconfirmed that the person in the aircraft had exited the plane before landing,” Wake County Emergency Management chief of operations Darshan Patel said.

Crooks’ co-pilot, whose identity has not yet been released, was taken to a hospital for injuries. Doctors discharged him later that day.

Crooks’ father, Hew Crooks, previously said he had no idea what happened during his son’s final moments.

“We can’t process it right now,” he said.

In addition, Devin Lynch, a friend of Crooks, said the incident doesn’t align with what he knew about the late pilot.

“I’ve known Charles for three years,” Lynch said. “He was a pilot from the day I met him. I’ve flown with him a few times, and I can tell you firsthand what kind of pilot he was. He followed every rule to the letter.”

Lynch said he’d like to hear what the cockpit voice recorders heard at the time.

“I would be interested in hearing the CVR recording because I’d like to hear what was going on in the cockpit that wasn’t being communicated to air traffic control,” Lynch said.