Former Olympic snowboarder and YouTuber Trevor Jacob has been sentenced to six months in jail for deliberately crashing his plane in a bid to generate social media attention and financial gain. The incident, which occurred in November 2021, came to light when Jacob posted a video titled “I crashed my airplane” on YouTube, garnering millions of views.
The Intentional Crash
Jacob’s daring stunt involved leaving a Santa Barbara airport on a solo flight, equipped with cameras mounted on his plane, a parachute, and a selfie stick. His plan, however, was not to reach his destination but to eject from the aircraft mid-flight, capturing the dramatic descent and crash on camera. The crash occurred 35 minutes after take-off in the Los Padres National Forest.
Initially portraying the crash as an accident, Jacob implied in the video that it was an unexpected event. However, suspicions arose among viewers as he was already wearing a parachute and made no attempt to land the plane safely. The video included a promotion for a wallet company, raising questions about the authenticity of the crash.
Plea Agreement and Guilty Plea
In a plea agreement, Jacob admitted to intentionally staging the crash as part of a product sponsorship deal. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. Federal prosecutors in California emphasized that although Jacob sought attention and financial gain, such “daredevil” conduct cannot be tolerated.
Jacob’s Reaction and Sentencing
In a statement, Jacob expressed that the experience had been humbling and described the sentence as the “right decision.” The court acknowledged that his actions were likely driven by a desire for social media and news coverage. Despite this, they emphasized the gravity of such behavior.
|Jacob embarks on a solo flight with the intent to crash for views and financial gain.
|December 23, 2021
|Jacob uploads the video titled “I crashed my airplane” on YouTube.
|FAA revokes Jacob’s pilot’s license.
|December 10, 2021
|Jacob and a friend fly by helicopter to the wreckage site, attempting to hide evidence.
|Jacob sentenced to six months in jail after a guilty plea.
FAA’s Action and Public Backlash
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took swift action by revoking Jacob’s pilot’s license in April 2022. Pilots and aviation experts have criticized Jacob for not taking basic steps to restart the plane’s engine and for wearing a parachute during the flight, considering it highly unusual.
Trevor Jacob’s intentional plane crash for the sake of online fame has not only cost him his freedom but has also raised concerns about the lengths some individuals may go to gain attention on social media. As the YouTube video has been removed, it serves as a stark reminder of the consequences that can unfold when seeking fame through risky and potentially harmful actions.
Trevor Jacob admitted to staging the crash as part of a product sponsorship deal, seeking social media attention and financial gain.
The FAA revoked Trevor Jacob’s pilot’s license in April 2022 following the intentional plane crash incident.
Jacob, along with a friend, flew by helicopter to the wreckage site, cut the remains into small pieces, and dumped them in trash bins to conceal evidence
Trevor Jacob was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
Yes, Trevor Jacob’s original video and subsequent uploads related to the incident have been removed from YouTube.