The National Transportation Safety Board is taking over the investigation into a man’s death last week linked to the emergency landing of the plane he was co-piloting.
The body of Charles Hew Crooks, 23, was found Friday evening in a Fuquay-Varina backyard, hours after the plane landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. It is not clear whether Crooks, who was one of two pilots on the CASA 212-200 airplane, jumped or fell from the plane.
The news comes a day after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would lead the investigation.
The RDU Police Department said it had interviewed the surviving co-pilot, whose name was not made public. RDU police have not released the incident report, citing the ongoing investigation. Airport police turned over the interview to the FAA and NTSB.
Preliminary information indicates that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the landing gear and fuselage, according to the NTSB.
The NTSB will determine the scope of its investigation after more information is gathered. The board is not conducting any interviews as of Tuesday.
WRAL News has also requested interviews with the FAA and RDU Police.
Wake County Emergency Management Chief of Operations Darshan Patel said the initial 911 call came in around 2:30 pm Friday, July 29. Flight logs show the emergency landing happened at 2:48 pm
“Once the aircraft had landed, it was reconfirmed based on a report the pilot said the second person in the aircraft had exited the aircraft prior to landing,” Patel said.
Patel said 80-plus people were involved in the search for Crooks.
“At the beginning, it was quite a large search area, and we wanted to make sure we using our resources effectively but also efficiently to do what we could for this individual,” Patel said.
Several law enforcement entities were involved in the search for Crooks, including Wake County Emergency Management, the town of Cary, the town of Holly Springs, the town of Fuquay-Varina and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
‘It was kind of an all hands on deck for the folks who were in that area,’ Patel said.
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