YouTube pilot Trevor Jacob finally admitted he crashed his plane a year and a half ago for online clout.
In December 2021, Trevor Jacob posted a YouTube video of himself jumping out of a single engine airplane while he was flying from Lompoc to Mammoth Lakes, California.
The 29-year-old claimed he was forced to parachute from the plane because the engine failed.
But it was all a lie.
The stunt took place on November 24, 2021 and was uploaded to YouTube on December 21, 2021.
Trevor Jacob pleaded guilty on Thursday to a felony charge of “obstructing a federal investigation by deliberately destroying the wreckage of an airplane that he intentionally crashed in Santa Barbara County to gain online views,” according to the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.
Investigators used Trevor Jacob’s YouTube video to bolster their case.
Trevor Jacob lied to investigators when he told them he didn’t know the location of the plane wreckage.
According to investigators, Jacob drove the wreckage to Lompoc City Airport where he cut up and destroyed the parts of the plane.
“Jacob drove the wreckage to Lompoc City Airport and unloaded it in a hangar. He then cut up and destroyed the airplane wreckage and, over the course of a few days, deposited the detached parts of the wrecked airplane into trash bins at the airport and elsewhere, which he admitted in his plea agreement was done with the intent to obstruct federal authorities from investigating the November 24 plane crash.” the DOJ said.
Trevor Jacob also lied to federal investigators when he submitted an aircraft accident incident where he falsely claimed the aircraft lost all power 35 minutes after takeoff.
“Jacob also lied to an FAA aviation safety inspector when he said the airplane’s engine had quit and, because he could not identify any safe landing options, he had parachuted out of the plane.” the DOJ said.
Trevor Jacob faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
The FAA revoked his pilot license in April 2022.
Via the DOJ:
On November 24, 2021, Jacob took off in his airplane from Lompoc City Airport on a solo flight purportedly destined for Mammoth Lakes. Jacob did not intend to reach his destination, but instead planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed, he admitted in the plea agreement
Prior to taking off, Jacob mounted several video cameras on different parts of the airplane and equipped himself with a parachute, video camera and selfie stick. Approximately 35 minutes after taking off, while flying above the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Maria, Jacob ejected from the airplane and videoed himself parachuting to the ground.
Using the video camera mounted on the selfie stick and the video cameras he mounted on the airplane, Jacob was able to record the airplane as it descended and crashed into a dry brush area in Los Padres National Forest. After parachuting to the ground, Jacob hiked to the location of the wreck and recovered the data containing the video recording of his flight and the crash of the airplane, the plea agreement states.
On November 26, 2021, Jacob informed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the plane crash. The NTSB, which launched an investigation into the crash on or about that same day, told Jacob that he was responsible for preserving the wreckage so the agency could examine it. Jacob agreed to determine the crash location and provide both the coordinates of the downed plane and videos of the crash to NTSB investigators. Three days later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched its own investigation into the plane crash.
In the weeks following the plane crash, Jacob lied to investigators that he did not know the wreckage’s location, according to the plea agreement. In fact, on December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew by helicopter to the wreckage site. There, Jacob used straps to secure the wreckage, which the helicopter lifted and carried to Rancho Sisquoc in Santa Barbara County, where it was loaded onto a trailer attached to Jacob’s pickup truck.
Here is the original video posted to Trevor Jacob’s YouTube channel in December 2021: