Widow of Outback Wrangler star Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson sues helicopter firm, CASA over crash that killed husband

December 13, 2023by Naomi Cramer


The widow of Outback Wrangler star Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson is suing his co-star’s helicopter firm and Australia’s civil aviation authority, alleging each failed of their obligation of care to her late husband when he fell to his demise.

Mr Wilson, a star of the Netflix actuality program, died in a helicopter crash in a distant a part of the Northern Territory on February 28 final 12 months.

He was gathering crocodile eggs whereas suspended from a Robinson R44 helicopter often known as VH-IDW when it plummeted to the bottom close to the NT’s King River.

Mr Wilson’s widow Danielle has now lodged Federal Court proceedings over what her lawyers allege had been “wrongful acts or omissions” which triggered or contributed to her late husband’s demise.

Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson with his wife Danielle. Ms Wilson is now suing Helibrook, the company owned by Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) following her husband’s death. Supplied
Digicam IconChris ‘Willow’ Wilson together with his spouse Danielle. Ms Wilson is now suing Helibrook, the corporate owned by Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and the Civil Aviation Security Authority (CASA) following her husband’s demise. Provided Credit score: Provided

Helibrook, the corporate owned by Mr Wilson’s co-star Matt Wright, and the Civil Aviation Security Authority (CASA), are each named as respondents.

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Ms Wilson is searching for prices, damages, curiosity, curiosity on prices and “such different order because the court sees match” for the psychological hurt attributable to the conduct.

In court paperwork obtained by NCA NewsWire, Ms Wilson’s lawyers allege CASA breached its obligation of care to Mr Wilson by approving Helibrook’s slinging operation.

In response to a factual background listed within the paperwork, selecting up or suspending folks by plane was banned between 2007 and 2021 except authorised by CASA.

Laws from December 2021 onwards solely allowed slinging operations underneath strict rules.

Mr Wilson died in a fatal helicopter crash near the NT’s King River in February 2022. The pilot survived, albeit with serious injuries. Supplied
Digicam IconMr Wilson died in a deadly helicopter crash close to the NT’s King River in February 2022. The pilot survived, albeit with critical accidents. Provided Credit score: Information Corp Australia

On the time of the crash, the Robinson helicopter was working underneath a CASA instrument permitting such slinging operations.

Ms Wilson’s lawyers alleges acceptable situations weren’t in place, with out conducting a correct or acceptable danger evaluation and “with out ongoing monitoring, evaluation and/or verification of members conducting the exercise and their practices”.

A report by the Australian Transport Security Bureau (ATSB) discovered the crash was possible attributable to the helicopter working out of gas.

The bureau decided Mr Wilson was possible dropped from a top better than 5m when the pilot tried to make an emergency touchdown, which triggered his demise.

Within the paperwork, they additional allege Helibrook breached its obligation of care to Mr Wilson by not enterprise a danger evaluation of the slinging operation.

“(Helibrook) failed to interact appropriate pilots and/or appropriately practice pilots and different personnel in relation to slinging operations,” the paperwork allege.

The ATSB has said the helicopter crash which killed Outback Wrangler star Chris Wilson was likely caused by the vehicle running out of fuel. Supplied / ATSB
Digicam IconThe ATSB has stated the helicopter crash which killed Outback Wrangler star Chris Wilson was possible attributable to the car working out of gas. Provided / ATSB Credit score: Provided

Ms Wilson’s lawyers declare the corporate failed to make sure pilots briefed the crew on emergency procedures and keep the helicopter.

It’s additional alleged the corporate “permitted VH-IDW to be flown in a way that compromised the pilot’s capability to make sure there was satisfactory gas” for the operation.

Sebastian Robinson, the pilot on the time who suffered critical accidents within the crash, allegedly did not undertake a danger evaluation as an employer of Helibrook.

Ms Wilson’s lawyers declare a danger evaluation would have recognized “a variety of issues”, together with the probability of her husband’s demise from heights better than 5m.

They allege Mr Robinson – for whom “Helibrook is vicariously liable as employer or equal” – failed to make sure VH-IDW had satisfactory gas “always”.

Assignment Freelance Picture Outback Wrangler Chris 'Willow' Wilson was killed in a helicopter
 crash on february 28, 2022. Picture: Instagram
Digicam IconMs Wilson alleges CASA and Helibrook failed of their obligation of care to her husband Chris (pictured) on the time of the deadly crash. Instagram Credit score: Information Corp Australia

“CASA owed Mr Wilson an obligation to train cheap care within the train and efficiency of its statutory powers and features”, her lawyers allege within the paperwork.

“Helibrook owed … an obligation of care as his employer or equal.

Within the paperwork, Ms Wilson’s lawyers state the applicant “claims in negligence as in opposition to CASA and Helibrook” and “within the different… the applicant claims damages for the demise of Mr Wilson for which Helibrook is strictly responsible for as a provider”.

Of their evaluation of the alleged hurt triggered to Ms Wilson, her lawyers declare: “(She) suffered nervous shock or psychiatric hurt and lack of upkeep and assist of Mr Wilson throughout the course of his lifetime … (and) prices (together with prices of attending any coronial inquest).”

A CASA spokeswoman stated it will not be acceptable to touch upon the proceedings as they had been earlier than the courts.

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Digicam IconAttorneys for Matt Wright (centre) stated proceedings had been forwarded to Helibrook’s insurer. NCA NewsWire/ Pema Tamang Pakhrin Credit score: Information Corp Australia

A spokesman for Gillis Delaney Attorneys, who characterize Mr Wright, stated the continuing had been forwarded to Helibrook’s insurer “who will likely be conducting the defence to the declare”.

“The applying notes that the pilot, who was an unbiased contractor, is accountable and alleges that Helibrook is responsible for his actions,” the spokesman stated.

“The proceedings will likely be defended by the insurance coverage supplier and we anticipate that contractor pilot and his firm will likely be joined within the proceedings.”

Along with the current declare, Mr Wright has been dedicated to face trial on a cost of making an attempt to pervert the course of justice within the Northern Territory’s Supreme Court subsequent 12 months.

Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright has given his first interview in regards to the 2022 helicopter crash that killed his greatest mate Chris “Willow” Wilson.

Mr Wright has “strenuously” denied any wrongdoing.

In the course of the committal continuing on December 7, Mr Wright’s representatives issued a press release acknowledging “one of many seven expenses was at the moment dedicated to trial for subsequent 12 months”.

The opposite expenses in opposition to him embody one depend of intimidating a chopper pilot, one depend of destroying proof, one depend of fabricating proof, two counts of illegal entry and one depend of constructing a false declaration.

“The opposite expenses will stay, pending decision of the cost now earlier than the Supreme Court,” Mr Wright stated in a press release.

“I’m hopeful the remaining expenses will all be withdrawn as soon as this cost is handled subsequent 12 months.”

Two of Wright’s co-accused, Michael Burbidge and ex-policeman Neil Mellon, have pleaded responsible to destroying proof for his or her position within the incident.



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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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