In a legal outcome, Trevor Daniel Jacob, a 30-year-old Youtuber from California, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison due to staging a plane crash. His sentencing followed his acknowledgment of tampering with the aftermath of a plane crash to produce an exhilarating video featuring him safely parachuting from the scene.
The court found Jacob guilty of obstructing the investigation by manipulating the crash site for the sake of creating content for his YouTube channel. This sentencing reflects the legal repercussions of his actions in exploiting a serious incident for online entertainment.
Jacob’s guilty plea
Acknowledging his role in hindering a federal investigation, Trevor Daniel Jacob admitted to deliberately interfering with the evidence. His guilty plea in June solidified his fate, resulting in charges for intentionally destroying and concealing evidence so as to disrupt the federal inquiry process.
The incident unfolded when the airplane crashed in the Los Padres National Forest around thirty-five minutes after takeoff.
The video of the plane crashing
In the December 2021 video titled “I Crashed My Airplane,” Jacob claimed his small plane experienced engine failure over the mountainous Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County. He was already geared up with a parachute, and, capturing the moment with a selfie stick camera, he jumped out.
Cameras attached to the plane’s wing and tail, along with the camera Jacob carried, captured both his jump and the aircraft’s descent. Once on the ground, he hiked to the crash site and retrieved the footage from the onboard cameras, as stated by the government.
As per the agreement he entered into, Jacob had a sponsorship deal to showcase a company’s product in a video he planned to share. Surprisingly, he had no intention of finishing the flight scheduled for November 24, 2021.
Jacob lied to the Justice Department
The Justice Department reported that Jacob eventually informed federal investigators about the crash. Despite being told to preserve the wreckage and agree to reveal its location, he later falsely claimed he had no knowledge of its whereabouts.
YouTuber Trevor Jacob has been jailed for 6 months after deliberately jumping out of his plane in 2021 in order to stage a crash pic.twitter.com/r8ATNwfqkz
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) December 5, 2023
Transferring the wreckage
On December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend used a helicopter to reach the crash site. The helicopter lifted the wreckage, transporting it to a trailer connected to Jacob’s pickup truck, as outlined in the agreement. Subsequently, the plane was dismantled, and its parts were discarded in trash bins.
In 2022, Trevor Daniel Jacob, residing in Lompoc, California, had his pilot license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration.