In December of 2021, 29-year-old Trevor Jacob uploaded a video on YouTube depicting what appears to be the plane’s cr@sh. More than 2.9 million people have watched it so far. He claimed in his plea deal that filming the video was required as part of a commercial endorsement.
He may be sentenced to up to twenty years in jail. US justice department officials announced Thursday that the 29-year-old pilot and skydiver has agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the purpose to obstruct a federal inquiry.
Mr. Jacob took out from Santa Barbara Airport in California on a solo flight in the month of November 2021. His plane was equipped with cameras. Mr. Jacob also brought a parachute and a selfie stick along with the cameras.
According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, he“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”
After only 35 minutes in the air, the jet went down in the Los Padres National Forest. The footage was discovered after he walked to the location.
The following are links to articles that provide further information about the plane cr@sh:
- A Navy Contract Jet Cr@shed Off the Coast of Southern California, Taking the Lives of Three People
- An Army Helicopter Crash in Interior Alaska Killed 3 Men and Hurt One
Skeptical YouTube commenters pointed out that Mr. Jacob was already equipped with a parachute and made no attempt to land the plane safely, prompting the disaster to be viewed in a more positive light.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which he notified of the incident, blamed him for keeping the debris on the ground. Mr. Jacob later stated, as detailed in his plea agreement, that he was unaware of where the place was.
Tweet below pertains to recent California plane crash:
A YouTuber whose single-engine airplane crashed in a California national forest admitted that he downed the aircraft to boost views for a sponsorship deal, authorities said Thursday. https://t.co/tvQtsk0GW9
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) May 12, 2023
In the statement, he did so, returned by helicopter to secure and remove the debris, and then burned it. In the following weeks, Mr. Jacob will make his first court appearance. His license to fly was revoked the year before. The BBC has not heard back from Mr. Jacob’s attorney despite repeated requests for comment.
If you’re looking for timely news, the California Examiner is a great account to follow on Twitter.