Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright has spoken out after it was revealed he will face charges over the horror helicopter crash that left his friend and co-star dead.
Wright, who is due to report to Northern Territory police in Darwin by Wednesday morning, “strongly denies any wrongdoing”, a spokesman said on Monday afternoon.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the 43-year-old crocodile handler and reality TV star. He is expected to be charged with perverting the course of justice, destroying evidence, fabricating evidence, tampering with witnesses and two counts of trespassing.
“What happened was a tragic accident that took the life of a close partner,” Wright’s spokesman said.
“His immediate concern following the accident was the condition of the two crew members on board at the time.
“The next priority was to make sure that the other helicopters and team members on the scene were not in danger and that the location was safe.”
Chris Wilson, 34, was killed on February 28 when the Robinson R44 helicopter he was hanging 30 meters below crashed into trees and the ground in western Arnhem Land.
His body was found 40 meters from the main wreckage at the King River crash site, a preliminary Air Transportation Safety Bureau report revealed in April.
The father-of-two was attached to a line using a harness so he could harvest eggs from crocodile nests in marshy areas while the helicopter hovered overhead.
The helicopter that crashed was one of three involved in the egg collection that day. He was found by one of the other crews after he failed to respond to radio calls.
Pilot Sebastian Robinson was also seriously injured in the incident and was airlifted to Maningrida before being transferred to hospital in Darwin.
A preliminary ATSB analysis of the scene indicated that the accident occurred when the helicopter’s main rotor blade struck and clipped a tree trunk several times before the aircraft hit the ground.
Initial assessments indicated that the engine had stopped before the helicopter hit the ground.
An examination found no defects that could cause the engine to shut down, and there was no visible damage to the tail rotor blades and drive system.
It is also understood that the helicopter was certified by independent aviation experts as safe to operate just weeks before the accident.
Outback Wrangler is a Top End remote location adventure TV series broadcast in over 90 countries.
The show features the capture and transportation of dangerous animals that pose a threat to humans, including crocodiles and wild buffalo.
Wright and Wilson also appeared on Netflix Wild Croc Territory.
Wright recently moved to the Gold Coast. He is also the father of a new child.
Two other men were previously charged in the February crash.
– with AAP