RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A 911 call released Tuesday afternoon by the City of Raleigh provides new insight into the emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday in which a man was found dead after exiting the plane mid-flight.
The call, that came in at 2:34 p.m. Friday, was made by an unnamed staff member of the FAA air traffic control tower at RDU.
“We have a pilot that was inbound to the field. His co-pilot jumped out of the aircraft. He made impact to the ground and here are the coordinates,” the FAA staff member told a 911 dispatcher.
For several minutes, the caller and dispatcher exchanged coordinates in an attempt to narrow down the exact location of the reported jump by the co-pilot, Charles Crooks.
Crooks’ body was later found in a Fuquay-Varina neighborhood. The surviving pilot was taken to Duke Medical Center, where officials said he was okay.
While the 911 call says Crooks jumped from the plane at least four times, questions remain about where the jump actually occurred.
The control tower originally pegged the location as Cary and later said it was near West Lake Middle School, which is in Apex.
Additionally, the 911 call released coordinates that would’ve had Crooks jump in Johnston County just south of Four Oaks, which would not have been possible based on where he was recovered.
“All we can do is recovery at this point,” FAA personnel said on the phone with 911. “I mean, I don’t know…I’ve never heard…This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Still, investigators have not confirmed that Crooks intentionally jumped at this time despite the context of the call.
The National Transportation and Safety Board, as well as the FAA, remains investigating this emergency landing.