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.”