YouTuber Trevor Jacob has been sentenced to six months in jail for deliberately crashing his plane in December 2021, and subsequently lying to US investigators about the incident.
The 30-year-old former Olympic snowboarder posted a video of the crash, which gained millions of views. In a plea agreement, Jacob said he filmed the crash as part of a product sponsorship deal. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
Federal prosecutors in California stated that Jacob likely committed the offense to get social media and news coverage for himself and financial gain. They emphasized that such “daredevil” conduct cannot be tolerated.
On November 24, 2021, Jacob took off from Lompoc City Airport with a plan to eject from the aircraft mid-flight and film himself parachuting to the ground. He had mounted several cameras on the plane and equipped himself with a parachute and selfie stick. He ejected 35 minutes after takeoff, filmed the plane crash, and recovered the data from the wreckage.
He later lied to investigators about not knowing the crash site’s location but eventually took a friend to retrieve the wreckage which he then destroyed and disposed of in trash bins to obstruct federal authorities from investigating the crash.
The uploaded video, titled “I crashed my airplane,” included a promotion for a wallet company. Viewers were skeptical of the crash, noting Jacob’s pre-worn parachute and lack of attempt to safely land the plane.
Jacob expressed humility in a statement, acknowledging the sentence as the “right decision.” The video garnered almost three million views before its removal.
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