Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright to face trial over deadly helicopter crash | Australia news #Outback #Wrangler #star #Matt #Wright #face #trial #deadly #helicopter #crash #Australia #news

The Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright will head to trial next year accused of perverting the course of justice after a deadly chopper crash that killed his co-star.

Chris Wilson, 34, plunged to his death in a remote area of the Northern Territory in February last year while attached to a helicopter owned by Wright.

Wright and his pilot Michael Burbidge went to the scene of the crash accompanied by the former senior police officer Neil Mellon.

The three men were all later charged with perverting the course of justice and destroying evidence.

Wright appeared in Darwin local court on Thursday when prosecutors said they were ready to go to trial on one of the seven charges.

He will face the Northern Territory supreme court on 18 January on one count of perverting the course of justice.

The other six charges, which include tampering with evidence and threatening pilot Sebastian Robinson who was critically injured in the crash, have been moved to a later date.

Burbidge, who was facing four charges, pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and had the other three charges withdrawn.

Mellon is set to appear in court later on Thursday afternoon.

It comes less than 48 hours after Wilson’s widow filed papers to sue Wright’s helicopter company and the aviation regulator after an investigation report made damning findings.

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The Air Transport Safety Safety Bureau investigation found the Civil Aviation Safety Authority granted Helibrook an exemption to collect crocodile eggs using slings that were otherwise banned.

By 2017, most safety conditions limiting height, speed and exposure were removed by Casa, meaning Wilson could be attached to the helicopter up to 30 metres.

The ATSB also made findings against Wright, with the report alleging his helicopter company had a “long history of noncompliance” and the chopper had several engine defects.

The civil charges in the federal court will likely not be heard until next year.

#Outback #Wrangler #star #Matt #Wright #face #trial #deadly #helicopter #crash #Australia #news

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