In December 2021, Jacob posted a video depicting a plane crash, suggesting it was an accidental event. The footage showed him ejecting from the plane, holding a selfie stick, and safely parachuting to the ground. The video gained millions of views.
YouTuber jailed for 6 months after deliberately crashing plane for views
A 30-year-old YouTuber, Trevor Jacob, has been sentenced to six months in jail for deliberately orchestrating a plane crash for online views and subsequently misleading US investigators.
Jacob admitted to filming the crash as part of a product sponsorship deal in a plea agreement. The former Olympic snowboarder pleaded guilty to a felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. Federal prosecutors in California stated that Jacob likely committed the offence to garner social media attention, news coverage, and financial gain, emphasizing that such "daredevil" behaviour cannot be tolerated.
In November 2021, Jacob took off on a solo flight from a Santa Barbara, California airport, equipped with cameras on his plane, a parachute, and a selfie stick. The plan was not to reach his destination but to eject from the aircraft mid-flight, recording himself parachuting as the plane descended and crashed into the Los Padres National Forest 35 minutes after take-off. Jacob hiked to the crash site, recovered the footage, and uploaded the video titled "I crashed my airplane" to YouTube on December 23, incorporating a promotional segment for a wallet company.
Some viewers raised doubts about the authenticity of the crash, noticing that Jacob was already wearing a parachute and did not attempt to safely land the plane.
Jacob reported the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board, claiming he didn't know the location. However, he later returned by helicopter, located and removed the wreckage, and ultimately destroyed it.
The video garnered nearly three million views before being taken down.
In a statement, Jacob expressed humility and acknowledged the court's decision as the right one.
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