A YouTuber who deliberately crashed a plane for views faces 20 years in prison
Remember YouTuber and former Olympic snowboarder Trevor Jacob, who deliberately crashed a plane for a cool video? Well, it looks like this internet genius might end up behind bars. And for a long time, reports The Guardian.
The story began back in December 2021, when Trevor Jacob posted a video on his YouTube channel of him parachuting out of a Taylorcraft BL64 plane that appeared to have lost power and filmed it falling in the hills of the Los Padres National Forest near Cuyama, California. The video entitled I Crashed My Plane has garnered almost 4.2 million views, 38 thousand likes and more than 242 thousand dislikes (to learn how to return dislikes on YouTube, look here).
Questions about the video arose immediately, because it was obvious that Jacob did not even try to start the engine, did not find a place to crash land, etc. That is, he does not do anything that a pilot should do in such a situation; he just jumps out of the plane.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) took an interest in the video and, as expected, revoked Trevor Jacob’s pilot’s license in April 2022.
“You demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record the footage of the crash,” the agency said. “Your egregious and intentional actions on these dates indicate that you presently lack the degree of care, judgment and responsibility required of a certificate holder.”
But the adventures of the former Olympic snowboarder did not end there. After the accident became known, the FAA, as required by law, began an investigation. At the same time, Trevor Jacob, who should have called for help immediately after reaching the ground, went to the crash site and took the video from the cameras installed on the plane. And he reported the accident only two days later, while the man claimed that he did not know where the debris fell. Shortly thereafter, he and a friend collected the plane from the crash site, towed it to a hangar, and spent several days destroying the parts and stuffing the remains into garbage cans in and around the airport, like some serial killer dumping body parts in dumpsters.
But… this is a completely different and quite serious crime – obstructing the investigation and destroying evidence. Following an investigation by the Department of Transportation, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the FAA, Jacob signed a plea agreement with US Department of Justice. He now faces up to 20 years in prison for destroying and concealing evidence with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. Ingenious!
If you’re wondering why Trevor Jacob did all this stupidity in the first place, according to the Department of Justice, he had a sponsorship deal with an unnamed company and the video was made for publicity.