FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WRAL) — Authorities say the man who may have jumped or fallen from a plane before it approached Raleigh-Durham International Airport was 23-year-old Charles Hew Crooks. He was the co-pilot of the plane.
WRAL reports, he was identified late Friday evening. The plane was making an emergency landing at the time. Officials say Crooks was found near Sunset Lake Road and Hilltop Needmore Road in a Fuquay-Varina neighborhood and was not wearing a parachute.
First responders fanned out in southwest Wake County Friday afternoon, looking for Crooks. They said the plane was having issues with its landing gear.
The plane – a twin-engine turbo – skidded off the runway and into the grass at RDU when it landed.
The search, which started near West Lake Middle School, eventually shifted to a residential area of Holly Springs near Sunset Lake and Bass Lake roads.
Local police are reviewing the plane’s flight path, radio traffic and working with the FAA to determine what happened.
According to the FAA, two people were on board the plane when it took off. However, a RDU spokesperson told WRAL News that only the pilot was on board when it landed. The pilot, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to Duke Hospital with minor injuries, RDU said.
The plane, which is owned by SPORE LTD LLC., is a small, 10-person plane.
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