Popular YouTube content creator and ex-American snowboard athlete Trevor Daniel Jacob recently pleaded guilty to federal felony charges after a highly publicized airplane crash stunt. According to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California on May 11, 2023, Jacob intentionally crashed his aircraft while pretending it was an unavoidable accident. As a result, the 29-year-old now faces a potential 20-year prison sentence, raising questions about the ethics and consequences of seeking online fame at any cost.
On November 24, 2021, Jacob departed in his airplane from Lompoc City Airport, equipped with multiple cameras to document the harrowing experience. According to reports, the YouTuber claimed he was en route to Mammoth Lakes but ejected from the plane above Los Padres National Forest, creating a spectacle designed to captivate his online audience. He later uploaded the video to his YouTube channel, which quickly amassed millions of views.
In this video (which you can watch above), viewers can see Jacob feigning panic as he pretends his engine has failed, ultimately bailing out of the aircraft while wearing a parachute. The footage follows his survival journey, including hiking to the crash site, drinking from a nearby stream, and his "rescue" by unsuspecting farmers. Jacob's bold strategy, though, was derailed by his later acts. He gave federal investigators misleading information regarding the location of the debris in the weeks after the incident.
In a shocking revelation, it was later learned that Jacob had planned the removal and destruction of the aircraft, slicing it into pieces and dispersing them around Lompoc City Airport in an effort to thwart the federal inquiry into the crash's cause. Furthermore, he deceived an FAA aviation safety inspector by claiming engine failure as the reason for his parachute escape.
Due to his actions, the FAA revoked Jacob's pilot's license in 2022, ending his aviation aspirations. The guilty plea, announced on May 11, 2023, now hangs over Jacob's future, and the YouTuber faces a federal felony charge of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The sentencing date for Jacob's case remains uncertain, leaving his fans and critics eagerly awaiting the outcome.