The Australian director was carrying marriage papers with his fiancée when he died in a light plane crash.
Matthew Farrell, 42, recently bought an Australian-made Jabiru 230D with wife-to-be and fellow pilot Kaz Waller after the TV cameraman obtained his pilot’s license last year.
On Sunday, he took off from Mount Beauty Airport, near the couple’s Tawonga home in Victoria’s north-east, to fly 420km to Wollongong to help his father-in-law-to-be fix the roof.
Friends said he was carrying Ms Waller’s marriage papers in his pocket but never made it to his destination, sparking a huge search.
Australian filmmaker Matthew Morrell, who died in remote wilderness in the Victorian highlands, was carrying marriage papers with his fiancee Kaz Waller when his light plane crashed
Rescuers found Mr Farrell’s body, along with the remains of the plane, in thick bush about 60km away, near Lucyvale in the Victorian Alps at 10am on Monday.
Friends and family have been comforting his grief-stricken fiancee, and she has been inundated with messages of support and condolences.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, she took to social media to share a stunning photo of Mr Farrell with their dog in the mountains.
“I call them the most brilliant couple I’ve ever met, they were just perfect and amazing,” said close friend and collaborator Brad Harris the alphabet.
“They were going to get married, he had the documents on the plane.
“It’s a tragedy that she only spent a year with him – they were so perfect, maybe more than any couple I’ve ever met in my life.”
Fiancee Kaz Waller took to social media to share an adorable photo of Matthew Farrell with their dog in the mountains early Wednesday morning
Mr Harris said the adventure-seeking ABC, BBC and Discovery veteran was an experienced flyer after years of paragliding.
He suggested that the weather may have turned worse than expected during the flight, with bad weather hampering the hunt for the missing plane on Sunday.
“He was a very thorough, very technically minded guy,” Mr. Harris said.
“His knowledge of aviation was quite fantastic – he was a very, very good paraglider pilot, had been flying model airplanes since he was a child and had always been interested in aviation.”
The Tasmanian’s desire took him from the deserts of Morocco to the tundra of Antarctica, developing his skills as a polar explorer, climber and boat driver.
“He was an adventurer. He’s used to taking risks, facing risk and fear, like all outdoorsmen,” Mr Harris added.
“It’s what you do, and it’s very calculated — it’s not reckless.”
Mr Farrell recently worked on The Amazing Race for Channel Ten and joked online last month that he didn’t even have a working TV to watch it on.
Thrill-seeking filmmaker Matthew Farrell has died after the light plane he was piloting crashed into remote wilderness in the Victorian High Country
Matthew Farrell, 42, recently bought an Australian-made Jabiru 230D with wife-to-be and fellow pilot Kaz Waller after the broadcaster obtained his pilot’s license last year
Former Home and Away star Bonnie Swain, 32, who played Ricky Sharp in the series, also paid tribute to her friend and former co-star.
“Tassie lost a good man with a big heart and a director this week,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Matt Farrell was a photographer, editor and man of many hats – and quite a fixture in the creative and media communities here.
“I worked closely with him on a short film we made almost two years ago, Life Lives, an idea I had that simply would not have come to life without Matt’s generous time, input and passion.
“He was [director of photography] and editor. I thought (and hoped!) that this was the first of many projects we would be working on together.
Friends and colleagues of adventurous Matthew Farrell – including Home and Away star Bonnie Swain – have hailed the Tasmanian’s passion that took him from the deserts of Morocco to the polar tundra of Antarctica
Bonnie Sweeney, 32, who played Ricky Sharpe on Home and Away, posted a touching tribute to her friend on Instagram
“Sending love and strength to Matt’s bride and family and grieving friends.
“What a terrible shock to lose him so young. Rest in peace Matt… and thank you for all you have shared with the world. ‘
A former Hobart Mercury photographer has been remembered by newspaper staff for his adventurous spirit that “embraced life”.
“Professionally, he was an inspiration to work with, he was dedicated, passionate and committed to innovation,” said former Mercury Vision chief Daniel Jupp.
“He worked in many fields and in each he not only achieved success, but also created an environment in which it was a pleasure to work for his colleagues.
“Matt was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever known.
“He accepted life. He was adventurous yet thoughtful, he was passionate, calm, he was endlessly exciting yet completely devoted.
“He will be missed by many people in Tasmania, interstate and overseas as he touched people in a way that not many can and connected with people in a way that we all wish.”
The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by newspaper staff for his adventurous spirit who “embraced life” – and whose skills also included being a paraglider, polar explorer, mountain climbing guide and boat driver.
The Australian Society of Cinematographers in Tasmania expressed shock at his sudden death.
“On behalf of all members of ACS Tasmania, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of Matthew Farrell,” the group wrote in a social media post.
“We send our deepest condolences to Matt’s family, his fiance Kaz, his friends and colleagues.
“Matt will be fondly remembered by many in his adopted state of Tasmania, particularly in the filmmaking and media industries where he was held in high esteem.”
The Australian Society of Cinematographers in Tasmania has expressed its shock at the sudden death of Matthew Farrell
A friend also paid tribute on Mr Farrell’s Facebook page.
“Matthew, your passion for adventure was never far from everything you did,” wrote his friend Monty Bee.
“Whether it was filming, hang gliding, rock climbing or a desert vacation, you made it your own experience and we all came together!
“We met many years ago through our mutual love of cycling. Thank you for all the joy you have brought to everyone’s lives. You will be missed by many.
“My sincere and heartfelt condolences to your family and loved ones.”