MORRISVILLE, N.C. - A 23-year-old man died Friday afternoon after he jumped or fell out of a plane before it made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.
Authorities said the pilot called air traffic control about an hour before making the emergency landing and said the plane had lost its right wheel.
"Emergency, we’ve lost our right wheel," the pilot told air traffic controllers. "We’d like to speak to Raleigh and make an emergency landing at Raleigh."
The pilot pulled off the landing and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. His co-pilot, 23-year-old Charles Hew Crooks, either jumped or fell out of the plane without a parachute before it landed, WRAL reported.
Hours later, his body was found 20 miles away behind a home in Fuquay-Varina. A resident told police they heard something in their back yard.
"I believe this was a first for many of us that were working this incident today," said Wake County Emergency Management chief of operations Darshan Patel.
According to WRAL, the 10-person plane is owned by SPORE LTD LLC.