An autopsy ruled the death of a pilot who fell from a recreational plane in North Carolina in July an accident. Charles Hew Crooks, 23, was cited for not consuming alcohol or using drugs. NBC News.
Crooks suffered multiple serious injuries from an accidental fall and had “no significant natural illness,” according to the autopsy.
A toxicology report showed Crooks tested positive for amphetamines, cocaine and opioids, and “toxicology tests did not detect alcohol or drugs.”
Crooks was flying for a private company that deployed parachutists from an airstrip on a small private field. During the third turn of the flight, the aircraft’s landing gear was damaged. Only the crew and the pilot were on board.
The plane headed to Raleigh-Durham International Airport and reported a landing gear problem to air traffic controllers. The plane encountered turbulence and Crooks said the pilot felt unwell.
“They were flying about 1,000 meters with the aft arch open for ventilation. The aircraft experienced moderate turbulence. At one point, the co-pilot opened the cockpit window for ventilation and to vomit. After a while, he apologized to the pilot saying he was not feeling well. He then left the cockpit and returned walked toward the ramp. At some point, the pilot realized that Crooks had fallen out of the plane,” the police report said.
The co-pilot was not wearing a parachute at the time.
After Crooks fell from the plane, the other pilot alerted air traffic controllers and went to look for Crooks, according to the report.
Her body was found nearby after a local resident alerted authorities to a strange and loud noise in her yard.
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