Pilot ‘jumps’ from plane in North Carolina after losing landing gear; The plane manages to land, the pilot is dead

The body of a 23-year-old who appeared to have fallen or jumped from a CASA C-212 turboprop twin-engine light cargo plane has been discovered in Wake County, North Carolina, US, officials said. authorities.

Mysteriously, the passenger got off the twin-engine cargo plane before it had to make an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport due to a problem with the landing gear.

According to WTVD-TV, a local ABC television affiliate, the aircraft, with civil registration number N497CA, attempted to land on Raleigh-Durham runway 5R-23L at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time on July 29.

There were two people on board at first, according to recordings of conversations with local air traffic controllers who are Publicly available.

The crew informed traffic controllers that the plane had lost its main landing gear wheel following a ‘hard landing’ at Raeford West Airport, located southwest of Raeford. After that, they were able to fly again.

A CASA 212 light cargo plane lies on its side after skidding off the runway during an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on July 29, 2022. Television capture WRAL

The pilot of N497CA was taken to Duke Hospital with minor injuries following the emergency landing in Raleigh-Durham. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the accident.

The body was discovered behind a house near Sunset Lake and Hilltop Needmore roads following an extensive search involving multiple city, county and federal agencies, said Darshan Patel, operations manager for county emergency management. of Wake.

According to a Facebook post at the Fuquay-Varina Police Department, the man was identified as Charles Hew Crooks of Raleigh. Crooks was the plane’s co-pilot.

When the plane touched down, the pilot was the only passenger on board and was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Members of the research team “want a better outcome,” according to Patel. He said he did not know if the deceased fell or jumped. The man had no parachute and probably got off the plane not knowing how high he was flying.

Aircraft details

There is uncertainty about the activities of CASA C-212 at the time of the hard landing. Online flight tracking software reveals that prior to the crash, he had flown several flights from Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport in neighboring Nash County, North Carolina.

The aircraft had flown various circuits southwest of Fayetteville, including those that passed through the west PK Airpark drop zone.

According to FlightAware, the aircraft is registered with Spore LTD LLC of Colorado Springs. However, little information about the company is available online. It is important to note that the company’s address listed with the FAA is also used by another company called Rampart Aviation. Rampart operates a fleet of CASA 212 aircraft.

A Rampart company logo is visible on the tail of this specific aircraft in recent photos which may be found online. For various reasons, it is not uncommon for aviation contractors to register each aircraft with multiple subsidiaries.

Rampart is well known for performing contract work for the U.S. military, such as assisting with parachute training and test and evaluation activities for U.S. Army airborne units and special operations forces. .

CASA C-212 Aviocar - Wikipedia
CASA C-212 Aviocar – Wikipedia

According to a Pentagon press release, Rampart and several other companies won new contracts from the United States Special Operations Command in April for “military free fall and static line support in various locations across the continental United States.”

Fort Bragg, the US Army’s primary airborne and special operations center, is located in Fayetteville, and US troops frequently use PK Airpark and its associated drop zones.

Although it is not possible to say with certainty that this aircraft belonged to a division of this company, experts believe that it is still significant. The aircraft has served many countries over the years.

By 2013, 290 C-212s flew in 40 countries, mainly for transport, surveillance and search and rescue. Indonesia has 70 aircraft in service. The aircraft was widely used while serving in the air forces of many countries, short-haul cargo companies and regional airlines.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command also used the CASA C-212 to drop supplies and sneak past troops. Due to its retractable rear ramp from which troops can exit the aircraft, the CASA C-212 is a popular option for paratroopers, paratroopers and paratroopers.

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