On February 28, 2022, Chris Wilson of the National Geographic show Outback Wrangler was tragically killed in a Robinson R44 helicopter crash in Northern Australia. The helicopter pilot, who has not yet been publicly identified, is a 28-year-old man who, survived the crash. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
The fatal helicopter crash happened in a remote part of Australia’s Northern Territory. Sources have indicated that Wilson and his companion were collecting crocodile eggs when the R44’s engine reportedly failed. Authorities received a call about the crash the morning of February 28. It took rescue workers several hours by boat to finally reach the remote location along the King River in West Arnhem Land.
Chris “Willow” Wilson of Nat Geo Show Outback Wrangler
Chris “Willow” Wilson, 34, was reportedly the only passenger aboard the Robinson helicopter. Wilson was a born-and-bred Northern Territorian best-known for being one of the cast members of Outback Wrangler, which is internationally syndicated in over 100 countries. He appeared on the popular television show alongside longtime friend and crocodile wrangler Matt Wright for more than a decade. In addition to his role on the show, Wilson was managing director of Northern Australia Civil, a company whose other director is crocodile farmer Mick Burns. He is survived by his wife Danielle and two young sons Austin and Ted.
What Caused the Crash That Killed Chris Wilson of Outback Wrangler?
Officials from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) have launched an investigation into the cause of the Robinson R44 crash in Northern Australia that killed Chris Wilson and critically injured the pilot. In announcing the investigation, ATSB noted that the Robinson R44, registration VH-IDW, “collided with terrain and was destroyed” roughly 30 km south of South Goulburn, Northern Territory.
Investigators will examine the accident site and wreckage. They will also collect evidence, including recorded flight data, weather information, witness reports, and maintenance records. The actions of the pilot will also be reviewed.
Veteran helicopter crash attorney Ronald L. M. Goldman has been litigating aviation cases for over 50 years. According to Goldman, crashes like this one involving the R44 are tragic but not uncommon. “We have brought helicopter crash cases involving almost every manufacturer,” says Goldman. “The repeated safety issues and quantity of crashes we see with Robinson, is unlike anything else we have seen. One would think that after so many crashes, the company would work harder to elevate safety as its top priority. But that doesn’t appear to be the case..”
Robinson Helicopter Crash History
Robinson Helicopter Company is based in Torrance, California. According to government data, the company has a lengthy history of devastating crashes. Robinson R22, R44, and R66 helicopter models have been involved in 1,623 aviation accidents or incidents worldwide. A total of 722 people died in these accidents. Many more sustained injuries.
Below are updated Robinson Helicopter crash statistics (as of March 3, 2022):
- Model R22 – 1010 R22 accidents; 186 of those incidents were fatal; 274 people have died
- Model R44 – 561 R44 accidents; 203 of those incidents were fatal; 404 people have died
- Model R66 – 40 R66 accidents; 18 of those incidents were fatal; 39 people have died
Helicopter Crash Lawyers with Successful Track Record Against Robinson
Aviation attorneys from the law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have represented clients from around the world in cases against Robinson Helicopter Company. We are in active litigation against Robinson in cases stemming from helicopter crashes in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Our firm has won more than half a billion for our clients in aviation accidents. Across all areas of practice, we have won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements. Put your case in the hands of seasoned aviation lawyers you can trust to earn justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.
To speak with an attorney about your Robinson Helicopter crash case, call Baum Hedlund today at (855) 948-5098 or contact us online