YouTuber Trevor Jacob Guilty of Crashing Plane for Views, Hampering Investigation

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Trevor Jacob, a 29-year-old pilot and YouTuber, has admitted intentionally crashing a plane to boost video views and subsequently obstructing the investigation by cleaning the crash site, US prosecutors have announced. Jacob publicly shared a video of the supposed accident on YouTube in December 2021, leading viewers to believe it was an unforeseen incident. The video has since amassed almost 3 million views.

As part of a plea deal, Jacob confessed that he filmed the video as a promotion stunt. The stuntman-turned-YouTuber now faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Jacob, also a skilled skydiver, agreed to plead guilty to the charge of destruction and concealment of evidence with the intention of obstructing a federal investigation, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In November 2021, Jacob embarked on a solo flight from an airport in Santa Barbara, California, with a plane equipped with cameras. He also brought along a parachute and a selfie stick. According to the Central District of California’s Attorney’s Office, Jacob “had no intention of reaching his destination, but planned to eject from his plane during the flight to film himself parachuting and his plane as it descended and crashed.”

The plane crashed in the Los Padres National Forest half an hour after take-off. Jacob then walked to the crash site and retrieved the footage.

Some YouTube viewers expressed skepticism about the accident, noting that Jacob already had a parachute and didn’t attempt to safely land the plane. Jacob reported the accident to the National Transportation Safety Board, which stated that it was his responsibility to preserve the wreckage.

However, Jacob claimed he didn’t know the location of the crash site, according to the plea deal. He later returned by helicopter and removed the wreckage which he later destroyed, as per his statement.

Jacob is expected to appear before the court in the coming weeks. His pilot license was revoked last year. Jacob’s lawyer has not responded to requests for comments.


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