Update on Investigation of Deadly Helicopter Crash That Killed an Outback Wrangler Star: ‘Complex and Dynamic’
- Helicopter crash investigation extended
- Common for timeframes and scopes that need to be adjusted
- Findings are not released until 17 months after the crash
The findings of a deadly helicopter crash that tragically killed an Outback Wrangler co-star will be delayed due to the “complex and dynamic” scope of the investigation.
Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson, 34, died when the Robinson R44 he was dangling from collided with trees and crashed to the ground on February 28 last year while on a mission to retrieve crocodile eggs in West Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
The helicopter was owned and operated by Helibrook, the company of Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright.
Wright, 43, is charged with seven serious offenses in connection with the aftermath of the crash that claimed the life of his TV co-star.
An Australian Transport and Safety Bureau investigation into the crash was expected to release its findings in June.
The report is now expected in September, 17 months after Wilson was killed.
Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright (pictured with wife Kaia) was charged in the aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed his mate
“A recent regular review by management has determined that due to the complex nature of this investigation, publication of the final report is now expected for the third quarter of this year,” a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
“By their nature, ATSB investigations are complex and dynamic and it is common for timeframes and scope of investigations to be adjusted as evidence is analyzed and further evidence is obtained as the investigation team develops its findings.”
The ongoing investigation continues to examine a range of factors.
They include electronic components retrieved from the crash site, fuel system components, refueling practices, fuel quality, maintenance data, operational documentation and regulations.
Wilson, 34, was collecting crocodile eggs in a remote area of West Arnhem Land when the helicopter he was dangling from crashed into trees and crashed to the ground.
Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson (pictured) died when the helicopter he was dangling from crashed into a tree and crashed to the ground
He was attached to a line with a harness so that he could harvest eggs from crocodile nests in swampy areas while the helicopter hovered above him.
Helicopter pilot Sebastian Robinson, 29, suffered serious spinal injuries in the crash
The 43-year-old Wright later faced seven charges in the aftermath of the crash, including destroying evidence and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The case has been postponed to May 31.
Wright has strongly denied any allegations.
“Nothing will bring Willow back, which will always be the worst. But trying to blame me is not fair or accurate,” he said in a recent statement to Daily Mail Australia.
The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau has expanded its investigation into the deadly February 28 helicopter crash (scene pictured)
He wrote a powerful tribute to his late partner on the first anniversary of Wilson’s death.
“One year ago we lost a father, son, brother and mate,” Wright wrote.
Willow lived for adventure, from the very first day I met him he had a sparkle in his eye that would take him through some of the most amazing experiences around the world.
“We miss our partner more than anything and his memory will live on with all of us. Willow will go down in the history books as one of Australia’s truest legends. Love your brother, it’s only time and we’ll see each other again.”
Wright became a household name over a decade ago as the star of the National Geographic Channel series Outback Wrangler, which has since aired in nearly 100 countries.
Matt Wright (pictured with wife Kaia) paid tribute to his late partner on the first anniversary of his passing