Filmmaker Mathew Farrell had marriage papers for fiancee Karen Waller in Victorian Alps plane crash
An Australian filmmaker was carrying the marriage papers to marry his fiancée when he was killed in a minor plane crash.
Mathew Farrell, 42, recently bought the Australian-made Jabiru 230D plane with wife-to-be and fellow pilot Kaz Waller after the TV cameraman got his pilot’s license last year.
He departed Sunday from Mount Beauty airport near the Tawonga couple’s home in northeastern Victoria to fly 420km to Wollongong to help his soon-to-be father-in-law repair a roof.
In his pocket, he carried the paperwork to marry Mrs. Waller, friends revealed, but never reached his destination, sparking a massive search.
Australian filmmaker Mathew Marrell, who died in the remote wilderness of the highlands of Victoria, was carrying the marriage papers to marry his fiancée Kaz Waller when his light plane crashed.
Rescue workers found Mr Farrell’s body with the remains of the plane at 10 a.m. Monday in dense undergrowth about 40 miles away, near Lucyvale in the Victorian Alps.
His grieving fiancée is comforted by friends and family and is inundated with messages of support and condolences.
She posted a terrifying photo of Mr Farrell with their dog in the highlands on social media in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“I call them the shiniest couple I’ve ever met, they were just so perfectly matched and amazing,” close friend and collaborator Brad Harris told the ABC.
“They were planning to get married, he had the papers on the plane with him.
“It’s a tragedy that she was only with him for a year – they were just so perfectly suited, maybe more than any couple I’ve ever met in my life.”
Fiance Kaz Waller posted a terrifying photo of Mathew Farrell with their dog in the high country in the early hours of Wednesday morning on social media.
Harris said the adventure-seeking ABC, BBC and Discovery Channel TV veteran was an accomplished aviator after years of paragliding.
He speculated that the weather during the flight may have gotten worse than expected, with bad weather hampering the hunt for the missing plane on Sunday.
“He was a very thorough, very technical man,” said Mr. Harris.
“His aviation knowledge was pretty fantastic – he was a very, very good paraglider pilot and he flew model airplanes from when he was young and was always interested and involved in aviation.”
The Tasmanian’s passion for life took him from the deserts of Morocco to the tundra of Antarctica, where he developed skills as a polar explorer, mountain guide and zodiac boat driver.
“He was an adventurer. He was used to taking risks and confronting risks and confronting fear, just like all outdoorsmen,” Mr Harris added.
“It’s something you do and it’s very calculated — it’s not reckless.”
Farrell recently worked on The Amazing Race for Channel Ten and joked online last month that he didn’t even have a working television to watch it.
Thrill-seeking filmmaker Mathew Farrell has died after the light plane he was flying crashed into remote wilderness in the Victorian High Country
Mathew Farrell, 42, had recently bought the Australian-made Jabiru 230D plane with his wife-to-be and fellow pilot Kaz Waller after the TV cameraman obtained his pilot’s license last year.
Former Home and Away star Bonnie Sveen, 32, who played Ricky Sharp in the TV soap, also paid tribute to her boyfriend and former colleague.
“Tassie lost a kind, big hearted person and filmmaker this week,” she posted on Instagram.
“Mat Farrell was a photographer, editor and man of many hats – and quite entrenched in the creative and media communities here.
“I worked closely with him on the short film we made nearly two years ago, Life Lives On – an idea I had that would not have come to life without Mat’s generous time, input and passion.
‘He was the [director of photography] and editor. I thought (and hoped!) that it was the first of many projects we would work on together.
Friends and colleagues of adventure junkie Mathew Farrell — including Home and Away star Bonnie Sveen — have praised the Tasmanian passion that took him from the deserts of Morocco to the Arctic tundra of Antarctica.
Bonnie Sveen, 32, – who played Ricky Sharp on Home and Away – posted a touching tribute to her boyfriend on Instagram
“I send love and strength to Mat’s fiancé and family and grieving friends.
‘What a terrible shock to lose him so young. Rest in peace Mat…and thank you for everything you’ve shared with the world. ‘
The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by the newspaper’s staff for his adventurous spirit that “embraced life.”
“Professionally, he was an inspiration to work with, he was committed and passionate and committed to innovation,” said former Mercury Head of Vision Daniel Jupe.
“He worked in so many areas and in each area he not only excelled, but also created an environment for his colleagues to work in.
“Mat was one of the nicest and most generous people I’ve ever known.
“He embraced life. He was adventurous yet thoughtful, he was passionate, calm, he was endlessly excited and yet completely giving.
“He will be missed by so many people in Tasmania, across states and abroad, because he touched people in a way not many people can, and connected with people in a way we all would like to.”
The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by newspaper workers for his adventurous spirit that “embraced life” — and whose skills also included being a paraglider, polar explorer, mountain guide and zodiac boat driver.
The Australian Cinematographers Society in Tasmania spoke of its shock at his sudden death.
“On behalf of all ACS Tasmania members, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Mathew Farrell,” the group wrote in a social media post.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Mat’s family, his fiancée Kaz, his friends and colleagues.
“Mat will be fondly remembered by many in his adopted state of Tasmania, especially in the film and media industry where he was highly respected.”
The Australian Cinematographers Society in Tasmania spoke of their shock at Mathew Farrell’s sudden death
A friend also paid tribute on Mr Farrell’s Facebook page.
“Mathew, your passion for adventure was never far from anything you did,” wrote his mate Monty BB.
“Whether it was filming, hang gliding, mountain climbing or in the wilderness, you made it your own experience and we all went along for the ride!
‘We got to know each other years ago through a mutual love for cycling. Thank you for all the joy you have brought into everyone’s life. You will be missed by so many.
“My sincere and sincere condolences to your family and loved ones.”