Pilot plummeted to his death when he opened hatch in plane to throw up

A pilot who fell to his death from an aeroplane had opened up a hatch to be sick, an autopsy report has revealed.

Charles Hew Crook's, 23, death was ruled accidental after he tragically plunged from a small aircraft in the US state of North Carolina.

The deceased man had earlier complained that he was feeling ill as the plane prepared to make an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on July 29.

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Crooks and the pilot-in-command had been dropping skydivers into a small field when there was an issue with the 1983 CASA C-212's landing gear.

The information was relayed to air traffic control and prompted the pilot-in-command to change course and make an emergency landing at the airport.

Crooks then told the pilot he felt unwell after the plane passed through some turbulence, according to the autopsy report.

"They were flying at approximately 3,500 feet with the rear ramp open for ventilation," the report said. "The aircraft encountered moderate turbulence.

"At some point, the co-pilot opened a cockpit window for ventilation and possibly to vomit. Sometime after, he told the pilot that he felt he was going to be sick and apologised.

"He then departed the cockpit towards the open rear ramp; at some point, the pilot realised that he had apparently fallen from the aircraft."

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According to earlier reports, Crooks had also been "visibly upset" about the prospect of an emergency landing after he had made a botched attempt to land the plane himself at Raeford West Airport.

The unnamed pilot-in-command then took control of the aircraft before Crooks' horrifying plummet to the ground.

His body was subsequently discovered in the backyard of a property in the town of Fuquay-Varina hours after the pilot-in-command had landed the plane safely without sustaining any injuries.

Officials later reported that Crooks had damaged his heart, lungs and other internal organs in the fall, as well as breaking multiple bones.


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