North Carolina pilot, 23, dies after suddenly jumping or falling from plane midflight

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By Carina Murphy

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A 23-year-old pilot from North Carolina died last Friday (July 29) when he jumped or fell from a plane midflight.

Authorities have not yet said whether Charles Hew Crooks deliberately exited the small aircraft as it approached Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

In the wake of his tragic death, Hew Crooks' family described him as a flying fanatic who had been working towards becoming a professional pilot for years.

Per WRAL.com, they could not explain how or why the incident had occurred on Friday afternoon when Hew Crooks set off in a 10-person plane with another pilot.

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Credit: CNP Collection / Alamy.

At some point during the flight, Hew Crooks - who was co-piloting the aircraft - jumped or fell to his death. The other pilot was able to land the plane safely, and only suffered minor injuries. According to officials, he was released from a local hospital on Friday evening but is still yet to speak publicly about what happened inside the plane.

Investigators say that Hew Crooks was not wearing a parachute when he left the aircraft. He did not survive the fall, and his body was found tangled in the trees in the backyard of the Fuquay-Varina residence.

The young pilot's father was at a loss as to why his son would leave the plane without a parachute.

"I don’t know," the grieving father said, adding: "We can’t process it right now, I don’t know."

"I can't imagine what happened. We’ll figure it out, I suppose," he continued.

Hew Crooks' father went on to say that his son had been learning to fly while he was still in college, and that he was living his dream as a pilot.

"He pursued his private pilot license while he was in college. I think he got that when he was a sophomore. He said a couple weeks ago, he wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world. He loved where he was," he told outlets.

Hew Crookes had worked as a flight instructor for over a year and was certified to fly in almost all conditions. In the wake of his death, his family are waiting for investigators to determine exactly what happened aboard the plane last week,

"We’re a strong family, and we’re a very loving family. But this, it leaves a hole," his father said, adding: "I don't know. We can't process it right now."

Featured Image Credit: ScotStock / Alamy

North Carolina pilot, 23, dies after suddenly jumping or falling from plane midflight

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A 23-year-old pilot from North Carolina died last Friday (July 29) when he jumped or fell from a plane midflight.

Authorities have not yet said whether Charles Hew Crooks deliberately exited the small aircraft as it approached Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

In the wake of his tragic death, Hew Crooks' family described him as a flying fanatic who had been working towards becoming a professional pilot for years.

Per WRAL.com, they could not explain how or why the incident had occurred on Friday afternoon when Hew Crooks set off in a 10-person plane with another pilot.

wp-image-1263154154 size-full
Credit: CNP Collection / Alamy.

At some point during the flight, Hew Crooks - who was co-piloting the aircraft - jumped or fell to his death. The other pilot was able to land the plane safely, and only suffered minor injuries. According to officials, he was released from a local hospital on Friday evening but is still yet to speak publicly about what happened inside the plane.

Investigators say that Hew Crooks was not wearing a parachute when he left the aircraft. He did not survive the fall, and his body was found tangled in the trees in the backyard of the Fuquay-Varina residence.

The young pilot's father was at a loss as to why his son would leave the plane without a parachute.

"I don’t know," the grieving father said, adding: "We can’t process it right now, I don’t know."

"I can't imagine what happened. We’ll figure it out, I suppose," he continued.

Hew Crooks' father went on to say that his son had been learning to fly while he was still in college, and that he was living his dream as a pilot.

"He pursued his private pilot license while he was in college. I think he got that when he was a sophomore. He said a couple weeks ago, he wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world. He loved where he was," he told outlets.

Hew Crookes had worked as a flight instructor for over a year and was certified to fly in almost all conditions. In the wake of his death, his family are waiting for investigators to determine exactly what happened aboard the plane last week,

"We’re a strong family, and we’re a very loving family. But this, it leaves a hole," his father said, adding: "I don't know. We can't process it right now."

Featured Image Credit: ScotStock / Alamy