Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright was grilled by reporters as he arrived for his flight to Darwin after an arrest warrant was issued over a deadly helicopter crash.
Chris “Willow” Wilson, who also starred in Outback Wrangler and Wild Croc Territory, was collecting crocodile eggs in the NT on February 28 when the helicopter he was in crashed, killing him and leaving a second man badly injured.
Vision captured by Today shows the 43-year-old arriving at the Qantas domestic check-in area at Sydney airport about 7am on Tuesday with his wife Kaia and one-week old daughter Dusty.
Reporters probed Mr Wright as he walked towards security to board his flight scheduled to depart about 8.15am.
“Are you flying to Darwin? Will you be handing yourself into police? Do you have anything to say about the allegations? Did you interfere with any evidence? Did you fabricate witness statements?” a reporter questioned.
NT Police contacted Mr Wright’s legal team on Monday, informing them the reality star must present himself to a Darwin police station by 9am on Wednesday.
He is expected to be charged with several serious offences, including perverting the course of justice, destruction of evidence, fabricating evidence, interfering with witnesses and two counts of unlawful entry.
In a statement provided to NCA NewsWire on Monday, a spokesman for Mr Wright said he “strenuously denies any wrongdoing”.
“What happened was a tragic accident that took the life of a close mate,” the spokesman said.
“His immediate concern following the accident was the condition of the two team members on-board at the time.
“The next priority was ensuring the other helicopters and team members at the site weren’t at risk and that the location was safe.
“Matt will not be making any further statement, but he will be vigorously defending the charges.”
The 43-year-old was one of the first on the scene after the horror crash after flying in on another helicopter with three other people on-board.
Two of those people – pilot Michael Burbidge and police officer Neil Mellon – have since been charged with serious offences, including destroying evidence.
Both remain before the courts.
Former senior acting sergeant Mellon has been charged with 35 offences and will return to court on December 7.
His charges include attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroying evidence and making false declarations.
Mr Burbidge will return to court on January 25 on four charges, including attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroy evidence, making false declarations and fabricating evidence.
In the days after the crash, Mr Wright shared a heartfelt tribute on social media to the man he called a “brother”.
“Willow you truly were an amazing person – a father every kid would wish for, a husband every man would aspire to be, a son to be proud of and a mate that’s a brother,” he captioned a series of images shared with his 510K Instagram followers on March 11.
“You have left an incredible legacy – you achieved so much, impacted those around you for the better and created adventures that showed everyone how to best spend our time here.”
He said he was grateful Mr Wilson’s family would be able to keep his memory close by watching episodes of their television work.
“Mate, you were made for TV, a natural charisma and way with words that lit up the screen and made our shows what they are,” he said.
“I’m grateful Dani and the boys will be able to watch you and your adventures forever.”
Netflix has refused to comment on whether another season of the popular Wild Croc Territory Show will be will be produced after news an arrest warrant was issued for one of its stars.
The show focuses on Mr Wright’s adventures in the Top End as a helicopter pilot and crocodile wrangler and also feature his friends such as Mr Wilson and Jono Brown.
When asked by NCA NewsWire, Netflix declined to comment on if they intended to commit to a second season of Wild Croc Territory after the incident.