A 44 year old man has been charged with multiple offences, including destroying evidence, in an ongoing investigation into a helicopter crash earlier this year that killed Outback Wrangler star Chris “Willow” Wilson.
- Northern Territory Police say a 44-year-old man has been charged with four offenses
- The offenses concern to a February helicopter crash that killed Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson
- The accident happened about 500 kilometers east of Darwin
Northern Territory Police said on Wednesday morning the man had been taken into custody and was assisting detectives with their investigations.
He was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, destruction of evidence, misrepresentation in a statutory declaration and attempt to pervert the course of justice.
He has been released on bail and will appear in Darwin Local Court next month.
The accident happened at the end of February in the remote region of West Arnhem Land, around 500 km east of Darwin.
The group reportedly embarked on a crocodile egg hunting expedition before the helicopter crashed, killing Mr Wilson and seriously injuring 28-year-old pilot Sebastian Robinson.
The 34-year-old crocodile wrestler and co-star of the National Geographic series was remembered as “larger than life” and a one-of-a-kind personality during a memorial service at the Darwin Convention Center in March.
The Australian Transport Safety Board released its preliminary report on the accident in April, concluding that there were no faults that could lead to engine failure at the time.
Mr Wilson, who was attached to a lifeline, was found fatally injured about 40 meters from the main wreckage, according to the report.
The report said the accident happened shortly after the helicopter took off from a landing zone and the wreckage was discovered around 90 minutes after the incident.
He said investigators found 250 millimeters of fuel in the helicopter’s main tank. The helicopter’s two fuel bladders were intact, but the surrounding metal enclosure was damaged.
The ATSB said fuel may have leaked into nearby streams because the fuel system was “compromised” in the accident.
“Fuel system components, refueling practices and fuel quality will also be reviewed and reviewed, along with relevant maintenance records, operational documentation and regulations,” the Transportation Safety Director said. of the ATSB, Stuart Macleod, in a statement in April.
Last week, NT WorkSafe confirmed that prohibition notices for all helicopter companies collecting eggs via slings were still in place.
The prohibition notices were put in place after the crash in February, after NT WorkSafe inspectors found the practice involved “a serious health and safety risk”.