YouTuber pilot Trevor Jacob who bailed out midair and deliberately sent his plane crashing into the ground to bolster viewing numbers on his channel could be jailed for up to 20 years, US authorities have said. pic.twitter.com/ojWzX2NNym— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) May 12, 2023
New York Daily News
A YouTuber and former X Games snowboarder has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge after he intentionally crashed a plane on camera in a bid to up his follower count, prosecutors announced.
Trevor Daniel Jacob confessed to authorities that he planned to crash his plane in a video he made to promote a wallet. He later cleaned up and dumped the aircraft’s debris in an effort to prevent federal investigators from probing the crash site, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Jacob, a pilot and skydiver, said he will plead guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
The crash occurred on Nov. 24, 2021, shortly after Jacob took off from Lompoc City Airport, in Santa Barbara County. He claimed he was flying to Mammoth Lakes at the time, but in reality, he never intended to land the aircraft.
As part of his plea agreement, he confessed that he “planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed,” according to the release.
Jacob jumped from the plane about a half hour into his flight above Los Padres National Forest.
The video, which has garnered more than 3.3 million views, is still available on YouTube and shows the influencer swearing as he pretends the aircraft’s engine has failed. After the crash occurs, Jacob says he’s “just so happy to be alive” as he hikes toward the wreckage, becoming “so thirsty” that he drinks from a stream.
On Nov. 26, 2021, Jacob alerted the National Transportation Safety Board to the plane crash. It launched an investigation on the same day, telling the YouTuber he was responsible for “preserving the wreckage so the agency could examine it.”
Jacob agreed to provide both the coordinates of the downed plane and videos of the crash to NTSB investigators, prosecutors said. The Federal Aviation Administration launched their own investigation shortly thereafter.
Amidst the probe, Jacob lied about the location of the wreckage, telling investigators he did not know exactly where the plane went down. He also submitted a falsified accident report.
The FAA revoked Jacob’s pilot license in April 2022. He faces 20 years in prison for the stunt.
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