The family of the pilot, who died after exiting the plane during an in-flight emergency, is reeling, the father says

The father of a North Carolina pilot who died after ejecting from a plane during an in-flight emergency said his family is still trying to come to terms with what led to the 23-year-old’s death.

Charles Hew Crooks spent years working toward his dream of becoming a pilot, his father Hew Crooks told NBC WRAL by Raleigh.

Now Crooks said his family is wondering what led to his son’s death.

Charles Hew Crooks.
Charles Hew Crooks.WRAL

“We can’t process it right now,” Crooks told WRAL. “I dont know.”

The body of Charles Hew Crooks, who co-piloted the flight, was found in a backyard in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, on Saturday – a day after the incident.

An unidentified family told WRAL that they were home and heard a loud bang in their backyard on Friday. Although they saw nothing at the time, police showed up and later found the pilot’s body in the trees of their backyard.

Charles Hew Crooks was not wearing a parachute and it is unclear why he exited the plane, Wake County Emergency Management spokesman Darshan Patel said Friday. Officials said they believed he either fell or jumped out of the plane.

Charles Hew Crooks was with another pilot aboard a twin-engine CASA CN-212 Aviocar when it took off on Friday. The pilot aboard Charles Hew Crooks requested an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport after experiencing a problem with the landing gear, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The plane landed around 2:40 p.m. and the pilot sustained minor injuries.

“I can’t imagine what happened,” Crooks told WRAL. “We’ll find out, I guess.”

As authorities tried to find out what happened, Crooks remembered his son as an avid aviator.

“He got his private pilot license during his studies. I think he got that as a sophomore,” Hew Crooks said. “He said a few weeks ago he wouldn’t switch places with anyone in the world. He loved where he was.”

Crooks said his son was certified to fly in all conditions and had previously been a flight instructor. He said the loss of his son left an irreparable void in the family.

“We are a strong family and we are a very loving family. But this leaves a hole,” he said. The family of the pilot, who died after exiting the plane during an in-flight emergency, is reeling, the father says

Fry Electronics Team

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