California YouTuber sentenced to six months in prison after crashing plane for video

The YouTuber lied to investigators after intentionally crashing his plane.

A YouTuber who crashed a plane on purpose in 2021 in California has been sentenced to six months in federal prison. 

The YouTuber is Trevor Jacob a former Olympian who made a video of himself parachuting out of the crashing plane. 


The backstory: Jacob, 30, pleaded guilty in June to destruction and concealment with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. 

  • In 2014 Jacob competed in the 2014 Sochi Games as a snowboarder. 
  • For the video, he took off from Lompoc City Airport on Nov. 24, 2021, with his flight plan set for Mammoth Lakes. 
  • In reality, he planned to eject himself from the plane for a YouTube video, intentionally crashing his plane. 
  • The single-engine Taylorcraft BL-65 was mounted and equipped with multiple cameras, while Jacob had a camera and a selfie stick on himself. 
  • He jumped from the airplane while flying above the Los Padres National Forest, around a half an hour after taking off. 
  • Jacob informed the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash two days later, and he was ordered to preserve the wreckage for an investigation. 

The big picture: Despite intentionally crashing the plane, Jacob told investigators that he did not know where the wreckage was located. 

  • On Dec. 10, 2021, Jacob flew a helicopter to the wreckage site to lift the crashed plane to Santa Barbara County. 
  • Federal officials said Jacob then drove the plane to Lompoc City Airport, where he destroyed the wreckage with the intent to obstruct federal authorities. 
  • Following that, he uploaded a video to YouTube titled “I Crashed My Airplane.” 
  • He had submitted an aircraft accident incident report saying the plane experienced a full loss of power and told an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration he jumped out of the plane because he could not find a safe landing spot. 
  • Jacob had his pilots license taken away by the FAA in April 2022. 

What they’re saying: “It appears that [Jacob] exercised exceptionally poor judgment in committing this offense,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “[Jacob] most likely committed this offense to generate social media and news coverage for himself and to obtain financial gain. Nevertheless, this type of ‘daredevil’ conduct cannot be tolerated.”

  • Jacob told NBC News, “I’ve learned more about myself than in my entire prior life combined. I have learned from my mistakes, and look forward to being a contributing member of society, and a mentor for youth. … I am excited to continue my positive growth as a person through my six month term in prison.”
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