US YouTuber who staged plane crash jailed for six months
Agencies | Los Angeles
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
A daredevil YouTuber who deliberately crashed his plane to boost the number of viewers on his channel and then lied about it to investigators has been jailed for six months after reaching a plea deal, US authorities said Monday.
In a video of the event entitled “I crashed my airplane,” Trevor Jacob appears to experience engine trouble while flying over southern California in November 2021. The dramatic footage, viewed millions of times on YouTube, shows Jacob, now 30, ejecting from the single-engine plane -- selfie stick in hand -- and parachuting into the dense vegetation of Los Padres National Forest.
Cameras placed all over the aircraft show its out-of-control descent into the forest, and its eventual crash landing. Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder, films himself hiking to the wreckage where he appears dismayed to discover the water he packed has disappeared. He does, however, have the presence of mind to recover the footage from cameras.
He then documents an apparently arduous trek through undergrowth to reach safety. In the weeks after the incident, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched a probe into the crash, and Jacob was ordered to preserve the wreckage.
The YouTuber told officials he did not know where the plane had gone down. “In fact, on December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew by helicopter to the wreckage site,” the US District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said Monday.
The remains of the single engine plane were cut into small pieces and dumped in trash bins in and around Lompoc City Airport, in a bid to hide evidence of the crash. The FAA, the body that regulates flying in the United States, yanked Jacob’s pilot’s license in April 2022. When investigators closed in, Jacob cut a deal and agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.